CALM: fighting male suicide through art

Suicide is the biggest killer of young British men. To try and combat this, the charity CALM created 84 public sculptures – each representing a real life lost. As part of our Annual 2019, we discover the back story to the campaign

The statistics are stark: every two hours a man somewhere in the UK makes the decision to take their own life. It works out as 84 men dying as a result of suicide every week. If you’re a British man under the age of 45, suicide is, statistically speaking, your most likely form of death.

There’s a marked gender split to the issue – compared to women, men are more than three times more likely to kill themselves (15.5 deaths per 1,000 for men, 4.9 deaths per 1,000 for women).

There are possible reasons behind this disparity that feel deeply woven into the way our culture raises boys and girls. According to Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM)’s 2016 Masculinity Audit, only 55% of men who’ve experienced depression will tell anyone about it, compared with 67% of women.