Suicides among young men on Merseyside have more than halved over the past ten years, bringing it below the average for young men in the rest of England and Wales, according to newly published figures by the Office of National Statistics (ONS).
CALM, the region’s dedicated campaign targeting young men which marked its tenth anniversary last year, has welcomed the news as a sign that its innovative and award-winning work is making a real difference and is literally saving lives.
Commenting on the ONS figures for young men aged 15-34, Simon Howes Development Coordinator of CALM - the Campaign Against Living Miserably - on Merseyside said: 'The figures released by the ONS are great news and prove that young male suicide isn’t inevitable and can be prevented. The simple truth is that on average, three young men take their own life everyday in the UK. CALM was established to help men get things off their chest by promoting a helpline and website that is credible and which they can trust when they are ready to sort their head out. We believe our work has helped to bring these numbers down and change the pressures and expectations that are often placed on our regions 190,000 young men for the better.'
Overall, there were 5,675 suicides in the UK in 2009, 31 fewer than in 2008, according to the ONS. The male suicide rate remains more than three times that of the female rate. In 2009 there were 4,304 male suicides (17.5 per 100,000 population) and 1,371 female suicides (5.2 per 100,000). Rates are highest among men aged 15–44. In 2009 the rate for this group was 18.0 per 100,000 population.
Although overall the male suicide rate has declined since 2000, there was an increase in 2008. The male suicide rate was highest in 2000 at 19.9 per 100,000 in 2000 falling to 16.8 in 2007. It increased to 17.7 in 2008 and was at 17.5 in 2009. The north west and north east remain the regions of England with the highest suicide rate. But CALM say the rates of suicides by young men aged 15-34 have fallen by more than 50% in Merseyside since 2000.
CALM was launched on Merseyside in 2000 at Cream’s nightclub Nation. Since then the campaign has gone through many developments including its re-launch as a national charity in 2006. Suicide accounts for the deaths of more young men, aged 15 to 34, than any other single cause: more men die from taking their own life than die in road accidents, drugs or AIDs.
CALM actively engages with young men in a variety of ways to help promote the services and touch-points for help that are on offer with an emphasis on relating to it’s audience on their terms and turf. Their 'CALMzone chill-out tent' regularly appears at festivals across the Liverpool city region, as well as promoting itself at universities and colleges and via online outlets such as Google Adwords and Facebook ads.
The campaign launched a brand new website earlier this year with the content being written by young men across the UK who use the site and who identify with the need for CALM.
Recently, CALM has partnered with fashion retailer Topman to launch a magazine called RESET which touches on lifestyle topics such as games, film, entertainment as well as articles by people in the spot light who openly talk about the stresses in their life, and what sparked their own “reset moment” to re-take control of their lives.
Page created on June 8th, 2011
Page updated on June 8th, 2011