Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM)

Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM)

To: All Branches
Dear Colleagues,
Suicide is the single biggest killer of men aged under 45 in the UK.
The Campaign Against Living Miserably, or CALM, is a charitable, campaigning organisation that exists to prevent male suicide in the UK and to improve support for those bereaved or affected by suicide which currently accounts for 78% of all suicides. The CALM organisation seeks to prevent male suicide by: 
Offering support to men in the UK who are down or in crisis via their helpline services, website and magazine.

Challenging a culture that prevents men seeking help when they need it. 

Pushing for changes in policy and practice so that suicide is better prevented.

CALM encourage men, a high-risk group, to get help in difficult times. Their campaign raises awareness of the CALM helpline, website, webchat and magazine, which provide direct support to men who are depressed or in crisis.

CALM runs a private forum for people bereaved by suicide and host the SBSP website. 

CALM’s public facing staff members are ASIST trained.

CALM are founding members of TASC & SBSP and attend APPG Suicide Prevention meetings. They host an agency database on their website, signposting to relevant services.

CALM pushes for change at a governmental level, calling for more robust reporting of suicide by coroners and for gender to become a permanent thread through the national suicide prevention strategy.

CALM inform the CWU that they struggle to cope with demand and the level of interest from supporters, volunteers, fundraisers as well as from the press and wider public. This is testament to the success of their campaign and service provision, which reaches out and provides support to men, an otherwise neglected high-risk group.
More about Suicide
Suicide is the single biggest killer of men aged under 45 in the UK.

Men are three times more likely than women to take their own life.

Every day more than 12 men take their own life in the UK.

There were 6,117 suicides in the UK in 2015 of which 75% were male.

Male suicide has an enormous emotional impact on those bereaved, who are then much more likely to take their own lives.

Male suicide costs an estimated £20m each day (each suicide is estimated to cost £1.67million).

Of men under the age of 45 in the UK, more than 4 in 10 (42%) have contemplated taking their own life.

Less than half of men who said they contemplated suicide spoke to anyone about how they were feeling with most reporting that they didn’t want to cause a fuss or make others worry, and almost 1 in 3 said they didn’t speak up because they didn’t know how to talk about it.

The most common reasons men feel low are: failing at work or school, money problems, losing someone, and appearance.

Why only men?

In 2014 there were 6,109 suicides in the UK, of which 76%, or 4,623, were male, and suicide currently stands as the biggest single killer of men aged under 45 in this country. The ratio of male to female suicide has shown a sustained rise over the last 30 years. In 1981 men accounted for 62% of suicides in this country, which rose to 70% in 1988, 75% in 1995 and hit 78% in 2013. (Source: ONS)
CALM wants to make people aware that suicide is a gender issue; CALM want to challenge those social constraints preventing men from seeking help when they need it and the charity wants to support those affected by suicide and depression, as well as develop the support available for the bereaved through the Suicide Bereavement Support Partnership. Even though CALM is focused on men, they take calls to their helpline and web chat from anyone. It’s CALM’s belief that all of us at one time or another, regardless of gender, will hit a crisis and we could all do with specialist help when things go wrong.
Why are the stats for men so high?

CALM believe that there are social and cultural barriers that prevent men from speaking out. From feedback CALM has received, and research conducted, men often say that they don’t feel comfortable expressing how they feel if they’re having a bad time, as they’re expected to be strong at all times, and not being so equates to weakness or failure as a man. The Men’s Health Forum (MHF) research confirms that Men are far worse than Women in every respect when it comes to looking after their own health and wellbeing.
How long has CALM been around?

CALM was first launched as a pilot by the Department of Health in Manchester in 1997, in response to a spike in young male suicides and was then extended to Merseyside in 2000. Factory Records boss Tony Wilson supported the pilot, which was run by Jane Powell, who created a powerful and effective campaign which directly reached out to young men on their terms through music. In 2004/5 the pilot was due to end and Tony Wilson supported the move to make CALM a charity, and became a Founding Trustee when the charity was launched in 2006.
What services does CALM offer?

CALM currently takes over 5,000 calls to their helpline each month, around 80% from men, and 20% from women.
In August 2014, CALM launched its ‘Webchat’ service which replaced the texting service and ‘CALM Webchat’ is going from strength to strength.
The CALM Website is filled with articles, stories and experiences there to both entertain and inform, and written by men and for men. The website also contains a database of local agencies for Men to find more specific support on particular issues.
CALM has a free quarterly men’s magazine, “CALMzine”, which is available at ‘Topman’ stores across the country, and is stocked in other independent retailers, record stores, comedy clubs and Gyms in London.
When is CALM Helpline & Webchat open?

The CALM Helpline and Webchat services are open from 5pm to midnight every day of the year. National Helpline Number: 0800 58 58 58; London Helpline Number: 0808 802 58 58. Calls are confidential and anonymous. Calls to the London number are free from landlines, payphones and all mobiles. Calls to the national number are free from landlines, payphones and from all mobiles. Calls won’t show up on phone bills.
What happens when someone calls the Helpline?

CALM offers a friendly ear who will listen and talk through any issue a caller wants to talk about. Trained helpline workers will then work towards creating a positive action plan for the caller, which will include signposting to local and/or national services. All calls are confidential and anonymous. CALM will never ask for names or addresses.
Do CALM support people bereaved by suicide?

CALM is a founding member of the ‘Suicide Bereavement Support Partnership’, which is working toward ensuring that anyone bereaved or affected by suicide has access to timely and appropriate support.
If you have been bereaved or affected by suicide and feel you need or would benefit from support, or you want more information, please visit the CALM partner website:
How can I help my friend or family member?

It’s always very difficult if you’re worried that someone close to you is at risk of suicide. The CALM Helpline is there for everyone, not only those in crisis, so you can call to find out more info on how to help them. You can also find support information on the CALM ‘Worried About Someone’ page, also visit at the CALM ‘Get Help’ page to find more information on particular issues.
Is CALM a big organisation?

CALM is a small charity. There are currently only 5 full-time paid members of staff. CALM relies heavily on the generous time, energy and skills of volunteers, supporters, and fundraisers to keep the campaign running.
Does CALM have any volunteering opportunities? How can I get involved?

CALM currently takes on volunteers in the London office for a range of different tasks, and they also have City Street Teams filled with people ready to head out to gigs, comedy events, festivals, fundraisers and more. Anyone interested in volunteering with CALM, should sign up to the CALM campaign.
Does CALM take volunteers on your helpline?

Unfortunately not. Our helpline is operated by a Community Interest Company set up to support the work of CALM by providing dedicated helpline services. As such, there are only trained and paid persons working on the helpline.
Where does CALM get funding from?

CALM receives funding from charitable trusts and foundations, health commissioners, corporate partnerships and public donations to support CALM services. At the end of the Financial Year (March 2015), CALM’s income was £647,454. Further information can be found in our Annual Accounts, which are publicly available from the Charity Commission.
Where does the money go?

CALM helpline and webchat accounts for over half of CALM’s annual outgoings, since CALM takes on the cost of calls in order to ensure calls to the helpline are free for everyone. Since CALM is a small organisation, it has minimal red tape, so all the money raised really does go directly back in to the organisation and to fund CALM services.
Motion 69(2016)

Motion 69 was carried at CWU General Conference in 2016 as follows:-
“Motion 69(2016)
Coference is becoming increasingly concerned about the increased rate of suicide within young men under the age of 45.
Figures collated by the Campaign Against Living Miserably (Calm) show there were 4,623 male suicides in the UK in 2014, the second highest number in 15 years and the equivalent of 12 deaths a day.
In this country we have a problem that we can’t shy away from anymore. Suicide is the biggest killer of men under the age of 45, 32% of men who contemplated suicide didn’t want people to worry about them while 41% of men who contemplated suicide felt that they couldn’t talk about their feelings.
With such a rise in the rates of suicide in young men, it is now becoming a serious health issue. More men feeling able to talk about their problems and seek help would be a step in the right direction. That said, improvement in attitudes alone can’t serve as a substitute for resources and the funding of services that help people when they need it.
Conference therefore calls for the Executive to work with charities such as CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) to raise awareness of the help and support that exist.
The Executive to arrange a campaign, by means of posters, leaflets and the relevant helplines available to encourage more of our male members to highlight and talk about any issues causing them a concern.  
Great Western Branch”  
CWU & CALM Engagement

Subsequently discussions took place with the ‘CALM’ General Manager and other Officials as did discussions between CWU and other Campaigning Charities including ‘PAPYRUS’ and ‘The Samaritans’. CALM attended and had a stand at the CWU 2017 Annual Conference where CALM reported a high level of interest and engagement with Conference delegates.
CALM has suggested that CWU Representatives and Members can:
Check the CALM website for regular updates on CALM’s campaigns and activity and how to get involved,

Follow CALM on social media for lots of information, news and articles about men, mental health and society in general

Get in touch with CALM to ask for materials for Branches and Workplace.

CALM recommend their CALMzine mag, which is a lifestyle magazine and a great read for any man.

CALM has other promotional materials also.

CALM Speakers and Workshops

If any CWU Branches, Regions, Regional H&S Forums or other collectives within the Union are interested in talks or workshops put on by CALM speakers, they would be happy to do these but given the size of CWU, the small charity would need to carefully diarise commitments as they don’t have huge internal resource. CALM does make a small charge for more interactive sessions and workshops as they do involve an investment in time but are really great ways of facilitating conversations in the workplace about what it means to be a man and getting some of these difficult issues out in the open.
CALM Organisation & Contact Details
Joel Beckman

General Manager

CALM – Campaign Against Living Miserably

PO Box 68766 London SE1P 4JZ

Charity Reg No: 1110621 & Scot SC044347 

Tel: 02036979331




Bríd Anne McKeown

Volunteer & Supporter Engagement Officer

CALM – Campaign Against Living Miserably

PO Box 68766 London SE1P 4JZ

Charity Reg No: 1110621 & Scot SC044347 


Mob:0750 785 5093



Twitter: @thecalmzone

Facebook: Campaign-Against-Living-Miserably

You Tube:

General Email:

CALM Helpline

The CALM free of charge, anonymous and confidential Helpline is for men who are feeling down or need to talk of find information and support. 

Open from 5pm – Midnight every day.

Nationwide:- 0800 58 58 58 

London:- 0808 802 58 58 

(Outside these Hours Ring The Samaritans on 116 123 – round the clock, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you need a response immediately, it’s best to call on the phone. This number is FREE to call. You don’t have to be suicidal to call. Alternatively Email:-
The CALM Webchat is open from 5pm – Midnight every day.

CALM Factsheets – Learn more about an issue:-  
 Abuse

 Alcohol & Drugs

 Anger

 Anxiety

 Bereavement

 Support After Suicide

 Bi-Polar

 Bullying

 Depression

 Divorce & Separation

 Eating Disorders

 Exam Stress

 Financial Stress

 Gambling

 Hair Loss

 Hearing Voices

 Homelessness

 Impotence

 In Care

 Masturbation

 Mental Health



 Racism

 Relationships

 Self Harm

 Sexuality

 Suicide

 Terminal Illness

 Work issues
All the above listed CALM Factsheets are available for download at the following CALM Website Link:-

Alternatively, materials can be ordered from CALM for a suggested donation. Telephone the above numbers for details.
Yours sincerely
Dave Joyce

National Health, Safety & Environment Officer
“All men, at times of need, may not know where to turn or go. CALM gives this freedom to know there is always someone to listen and more importantly help. Suicide is preventable.”
“Things can get tough, but CALM can help you get your life back. Being silent isn’t being strong.”
Email Attachments – Click to download
LTB 383/17 Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM)

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