Every week in the UK, 84 men take their own lives #project84

The statistics are shocking. Every two hours a man in the UK takes his own life. Male suicide and mental health is a big issue that can’t be ignored any longer. It’s unacceptable that so many men are dying from suicide on a daily basis, yet so few people are talking about it. To stop people in their tracks, make them pay attention and inspire much needed conversation and action around suicide, CALM partnered with artist Mark Jenkins, and his collaborator Sandra Fernandez, to create 84 individual sculptures, which have been installed on top of ITV’s landmark building on London's Southbank. Friends and family members of the deceased helped in the creation process of the figures. Each figure is

ACEs high… and resilience low

The Adverse Childhood Events (ACE) Study began life in 1985 in an obesity clinic in California. Concerned about their weight loss programme’s high drop-out rate, Dr Vincent Felitti noticed the curious fact that that the patients who were dropping out were the ones who were successfully losing weight. Following up with the former participants, Felitti discovered that the majority had experienced sexual abuse in childhood. He speculated that obesity might, for some people, serve as an unconscious defence formed in childhood in response to difficult circumstances. Felitti and colleague Robert Anda subsequently established the ACE Study, which reviewed the case histories of more than 17,000 ad

Keeping up appearances

One of the most striking features about some of the clients I work with is how terrifically well they appear to be coping. Smart appearance; a good physical fitness regime; managing a busy home; holding down a demanding job: it could be easy to imagine this person hasn't a care in the world. And indeed, as we talk at greater depth, it often turns out that that's exactly what their family, friends and colleagues do think. Yet, behind the smart outward appearance, this person can be suffering terribly, and feeling very alone in their distress. According to the most recent National Wellbeing statistics, 20% of the UK adult population reports some evidence of depression or anxiety. Yet the chan

Self-care is often the hardest thing

Self-care has received a lot of media coverage lately, yet I find myself puzzling over what's being presented as self-care. Some commentators seem to think it's a dressed-up cover for self-indulgence, while others seem to be proposing what sounds to me like yet another way for us to torture ourselves through strict diets and rigid exercise regimes. Either way, it seems to be seen as a solution to be found "out there". A friend drew my attention to this blog post by Brianna Wiest, and for me she says something very real about what I understand about self-care. "If you find yourself having to regularly indulge in consumer self-care, it’s because you are disconnected from actual self-care, whi

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