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THE DUKE OF CAMBRIDGE TO LEND SUPPORT TO CALM’S #BESTMANPROJECT

Press Release   •   Jan 09, 2018 14:02 GMT

  • The Duke of Cambridge to meet staff, volunteers and supporters from the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), a charity dedicated to preventing male suicide
  • CALM’s #BestManProject celebrates power of friendships and supports men in looking out for their mates
  • Exclusive film featuring The Duke of Cambridge, Rio Ferdinand, Loyle Carner and more to launch on Friday 12 January 2018

On Wednesday 10 January 2018, The Duke of Cambridge will join staff, volunteers, and supporters of the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), a charity dedicated to preventing male suicide, to lend his support to the Best Man Project.

As well as meeting staff, volunteers and supporters from CALM, The Duke will join a group of men including former professional footballer and pundit Rio Ferdinand, musician Loyle Carner, and radio and TV presenter Roman Kemp, who will be filming Best Man Project videos in which they will discuss the importance of friendship and its role in mental wellbeing. The first of these short films will be launched exclusively by CALM on Friday 12 January 2018.

CALM works to prevent male suicide, the single biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK, by providing support services and campaigning to change attitudes that prevent men seeking help. Research shows men’s social connections can wane over time and social isolation is a growing problem, especially for men over 30 [1], while men are much less likely than women to feel comfortable when a man they know opens up to them [2]. However, friendships and peer groups can be instrumental in supporting men’s mental health and wellbeing, and these social connections can provide a lifeline for those in crisis.

To celebrate this, CALM launched the Best Man Project in November 2017. An honour many men experience, being a best man is often a shining example of what it means to be a great mate. Through the Best Man Project, CALM is asking: why save it for a wedding? The Best Man Project has been designed as a helping hand for men who want to feel confident and comfortable being there for mates in good times and bad.

Simon Gunning, CEO of CALM, said: "We know support from friends can have a hugely positive effect on men’s wellbeing. Building and maintaining connections with others can be genuinely lifesaving for men, and that’s what CALM’s Best Man Project is all about. Whilst three in every four UK suicides are male, we’re thrilled to have support from The Duke of Cambridge as part of the Heads Together initiative, shining light on the important issue of male mental health.”

Follow the #BestManProject on social media and sign up at http://bit.ly/BestManProject to receive tips and advice on being a better mate every day, straight to your inbox.

NOTES TO EDITORS

Contact: Neil Wood, CALM - 07738 160434 / 020 3697 9331 neilwood@thecalmzone.net

CALM’s Best Man Project event attended by The Duke of Cambridge will be covered by the Royal Rota – please contact James Holt at Kensington Palace for more information: 020 7368 0852 / 07590982997 / james.holt@royal.gsx.gov.uk

[1] Of men that had experienced or are experiencing loneliness the average age to feel most lonely was 35 (research on behalf of Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness, 2017)

[2] 46% of male respondents said they felt comfortable when a man they knew opened up to them, compared to 57% of female respondents (YouGov, 2017).

CALM’s #BestManProject campaign launched in November 2017. For more info and to sign up, visit http://bit.ly/BestManProject

Founded in 2006, the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is an award-winning charity dedicated to preventing male suicide. For more information visitthecalmzone.net.

In 2016, 76% 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, 2015). Only 55% of men who’ve experienced depression will tell anyone about it, compared to 67% of women (CALM’s Masculinity Audit 2016).

CALM’s free, confidential and anonymous helpline & webchat are open every day, 5pm-midnightthecalmzone.net/get-help

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