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Young men's anti-suicide charity aims to keep the grey clouds at bay all summer

Published on September 17th 2010.


As the warm weather leaves Merseyside, the Campaign Against Living Miserably has decided to declare a “Summer of CALM” as it continues to celebrate its 10th anniversary this year.

CALM was launched on Merseyside in March 2000 and back then its co-ordinator was the very chilled Peter Coyle, ex Lotus Eaters front person.

The charity is aimed at young males aged between 15 and 35, one of the most vulnerable groups where suicide and depression are concerned, offering them a website and free anonymous helpline giving information and support for a range of issues from relationship problems to debt.

Some of the statistics are depressing: a spokesman from CALM said: "Suicide accounted for the deaths of more young men in England & Wales, aged 15-35, than any other single cause over the last four years. More men have died from their own hands in the last five years than have died in road accidents or from drugs or AIDS and CALM aims to change that."

Other numbers are more upbeat: Since its inception, the Merseyside CALMzone has managed to team up with massive events and has been promoted in skate parks, student unions, tea shops, rugby & football grounds and nightclubs. The message seems to be having an effect with official stats showing a 39per cent decrease in the suicide rate amongst young men on Merseyside in the last 10 years.

The latest campaign is gearing up for a series of events across the region, promoting its work and its freephone helpline to the target group.“CALM’s message is as vital today as it was when first launched 10 years ago,” says Merseyside CALMzone co-ordinator Simon Howes. “With so many lads dealing with difficult life situations right now, it’s really important that we keep promoting everything CALM offers across the area.”

Over this Bank Holiday weekend, the team will be at the Crosby Music Festival, Liverpool’s Hub Festival and Wirral’s Sunset Festival; and then moving on to The Metquarter’s World Cup Weekend on June 11 and 12 - which offers table football competitions and a chance to enjoy the best old school football arcade games there are. Calm will be at Sefton Park’s Africa Oye festival from the June 19 and 20, the St Helens Festival on July 3 and 4 and finally The Brouhaha International festival from the July 16-21. Thats a whole lot of CALM.

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