In the UK, 84 men take their own life every single week. If you are a man aged under-45 in the UK the most likely thing to kill you, is you. A statistic that is behind CALM’s (Campaign Against Living Miserably) drive to create a movement against male suicide.
When it comes to breaking down the stigma and veil of silence that surrounds male mental health there is no question that marketing and the creative industries have a vital role to play. CALM’s ground-breaking ‘Project 84’ campaign, created by adam&eveDDB, powerfully bought these shocking statistics to life.
The project was, for Simon Gunning, CEO at CALM, one of his proudest moments to date because of the growth in awareness that came as a result. Backed by Harry’s Grooming, CALM created 84 sculptures to represent the 84 men who take their own life every week in the UK. The emotive sculptures, which were placed on the top of the ITV building on the Southbank in London, sent a powerful message, giving people, especially men, the confidence to start talking openly about their mental health. But, most importantly, it saved people’s lives.
In the last few years there has been a surge in sympathy and embracing of the subject matter from the general public, says Gunning. CALM no longer has just a singular mission but has “expanded to be something much more like a popular movement.” The campaign was also the catalyst for the government’s decision to appoint a suicide prevention minister and launch the Global Ministerial Mental Health Summit.