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CALM, or the Campaign Against Living Miserably, is a registered charity based in England. It was launched in March 2006 as a campaign aimed at bringing the suicide rate down among men aged 15–35.[1]

File:Bubble (wikipedia).GIF

CALM bubble logo

The campaign maintains a website and an online database and operates a national helpline four days a week, offering help, advice and information to young men, aged 15–35, who are experiencing depression or crisis. [2]

History of CALM

Pilot & Relaunch

CALM grew out of a Department of Health pilot project launched in 1997[3] and operating in Manchester and Merseyside. The CALM helpline was launched in December 1997 in Manchester and was specifically aimed at young men who would be unlikely to contact more mainstream services and who were at greater risk of suicide.[4] When funding for the Department of Health pilot project ceased, the Campaign Against Living Miserably was relaunched in 2006 as a registered charity.[5]

Music mogul Anthony Wilson was a founding Trustee, and the campaign's board includes a mix of mental health professionals and commissioners and individuals from the worlds of advertising, law and management. Advisors include Mental Health tsars Prof Louis Appleby and Prof Mark Bellis as well as Emily Eavis.

The campaign has brought in significant pro bono support from agencies such as Ogilvy Advertising,[6] Tullo Marshall Warren,[7] MTV, and Metro and recently Top Man. This has helped them bring in a significant amount of advertisements on billboards, on TV, in the underground and on radio.


There are two areas of England, in East Lancashire and Merseyside, where CALM works intensively at a local level in CALMzones with Primary Care Trusts. CALM’s national office recently took up residence in North West London.


CALM won the Mike Farrer Self Care Challenge in 2008,[8] came runner up in the Charity Awards 2008, and was shortlisted for the category of Most Innovative Charity of the Year, Third Sector, in the Britain’s Most Admired Charities Awards 2008.

National Service Framework

CALM is aligned with the National Service Framework for Mental Health Standards 1, 3 and 7, and is cited in the NSF as a model of good practice.[9] CALM addresses the Public service agreement of reducing suicides by 20% by 2010.[10]

Young Male Suicide: Some Statistics

In 2007, 934 men in England and Wales aged 15–34 took their own lives, compared to 278 who died through an assault.[11]

All in all, suicide was the second biggest killer of males aged 15–34 after transport accidents, which killed 49 more young men in 2007.[12]

For every young woman aged 15–34 who committed suicide in 2007, four young men in the same age bracket killed themselves.[13]

Some of the people involved

Dizzee Rascal & Dean

British Grime rapper Dizzee Rascal released a song about a friend who took his own life to raise awareness of the problem of suicide among 15 to 35-year-old men. The song, called 'Dean', was made available for download as a music video from iTunes, with all profits going to the Campaign Against Living Miserably.[14]

The 500/100 Save the Male appeal

CALM’s 500/100 appeal was launched with funding from both Comic Relief and the public. This campaign was launched in order to raise funds for an online web-chat and texting service. The appeal involves an attempt to break the world record for the greatest number of t-shirts worn at once by two people. The goal is to get 500 logos on 500 t-shirts worn by two young men.

External links

Notes and references


  1. NHS Health Promotion/Campaign Against Living Miserably; Howes, Simon;; Accessed on 17 March 2009 at 15:12
  2. CALM - Campaign Against Living Miserably;; Accessed on 3 March 2009 at 14:02
  3. NHS Health Promotion/Campaign Against Living Miserably; Howes, Simon;; Accessed on 17 March 2009 at 15:12
  4. national service frameworks: Mental Health Modern Standards and Service Models; 1999; p. 31;; Accessed on 3 March 2009 at 12:45
  5. Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM);; Accessed on 3 March 2009 at 14:05
  6. Ogilvy appeals for CALM; Creative Review; 1st May 2002;; Accessed on 3 March 2009 at 14:44
  7. Charity Calm unveils hard-hitting assault; Precision Marketing; 15th December 2006;; Accessed on 3 March 2009 at 14:47
  8. Campaign against living miserably wins North West award and comes to the seaside;; Accessed on 24 March 2009 at 15:22
  9. national service frameworks: Mental Health Modern Standards and Service Models; 1999; pp. 34&38;; Accessed on 3 March 2009 at 12:45
  10. Howes, Simon; Campaign Against Living Miserably;; Accessed on 24/03/09 at 15:05
  11. Source: ONS, Deaths to Persons resident in England, Wales and elsewhere, 2007
  12. Ibid.
  13. Ibid.
  14. Dizzee raises suicide awareness,, Accessed on 24/02/09 at 15:55
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