Theresa May’s speech at the Charity Commission today marked the first time a British Prime Minister has made a public commitment to recognising the issue of male suicide.
The speech focusing on mental health coincided with the release of the government’s latest suicide prevention strategy, which recognises “young and middle-aged men” as the group "most at risk” of suicide. The latest UK figures show men are three times more likely than women to take their own life, and suicide is the biggest killer of men under 45 (ONS, 2016).
The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is calling for the government to commit to translate this recognition of the impact of male suicide into effective action that will save lives.
CALM’s Chair James Scroggs said: “After ten years of campaigning, CALM is pleased to see male suicide has finally been publicly recognised by the PM as such a frighteningly huge issue. We will do all we can to hold the government to account, making sure that these statements lead to tangible outcomes."
For ten years CALM has been providing support services specifically for men who are down or in crisis, and campaigning for culture change that enables men to seek help without shame or embarrassment. The charity aims to bring this experience to bear in the implementation of the new UK suicide prevention strategy.
Scroggs continued: "It’s promising to see the government talking about reaching men in non-clinical spaces, such as through sport. Since 2006 CALM has been reaching and supporting men on their own turf and on their own terms, such as through music, comedy, theatre and film. If the government truly wants to save lives, we urge them to make use of this knowledge and invest in support that we know works for men."
NOTES TO EDITORS
- In 2015, 75% of all suicides in the UK were male. Suicide is the single biggest killer of men aged under-45 in the UK (NISRA, GRO, ONS, 2014)
- Founded in 2006, the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is an award-winning charity dedicated to preventing male suicide. For more information visit thecalmzone.net
- CALM’s helpline & webchat are open daily 5pm-midnight thecalmzone.net/get-help
- CALM is a charity registered in England and Wales (1110621) and in Scotland (SC044347)
- Contact: Rachel Stephenson, Communications Director – 07738160434 / firstname.lastname@example.org