For Tom, Dick or Harry

Soulful Creative graffiti artists 45rpm, Koze and Richt painted three billboards on London’s Old Street last night as part of a campaign for charity CALM to raise awareness of the scale of male suicide in the UK

Soulful Creative graffiti artists 45rpm, Koze and Richt painted three billboards on London’s Old Street last night as part of a campaign for charity CALM to raise awareness of the scale of male suicide in the UK…

According to the Campaign Against Living Miserably, three young men take their own lives every day in the UK, making suicide the biggest killer of men under 35. (There are sobering figures for both sexes at the Office of National Statistics’ page for 2011: in that year alone there were 4,552 male and 1,493 female suicides.)

“Suicide is something that every Tom Dick & Harry may well think about, regardless of how successful, talented or popular they are,” say CALM. “This is a toxic legacy, which impacts all communities.”

Painted on site the three pieces (‘Tom’ by 45rpm, ‘Dick’ by Koze, and ‘Harry’ by Richt) will be on show for 36 hours before being auctioned in aid of CALM tomorrow morning. At the Old Street site, a fourth billboard introduces the project and links to thecalmzone.et/stopsuicide.

Soulful worked on the project with agency BMB (Beattie McGuinness Bungay), with support from JCDecaux. BMB chose to use graffiti as a way to raise awareness around the issues because of its notions of self-expression. “[This is] something that inspires graffiti artists to carry out their work, but something that unfortunately holds people back from speaking about their problems,” say Soulful.

The work will be auctioned by CALM on the morning of Tuesday March 26. CALM offers a free, seven evenings a week confidential helpline and texting service, and campaigns to raise awareness of suicide and improve policy and practice in suicide prevention. See thecalmzone.net. More images of the billboards being painted, here.

The April print issue of CR presents the work of three young animators and animation teams to watch. Plus, we go in search of illustrator John Hanna, test out the claims of a new app to have uncovered the secrets of viral ad success and see how visual communications can both help keep us safe and help us recover in hospital

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