CFOA supports event highlighting male suicide

Today the Duke of Cambridge will join the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) at the launch of a unique coalition of frontline services to help tackle the issue of male suicide, the single biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK.

With an estimated daily cost of £20 million, male suicide accounts for 76% of all suicides in the UK. It has a huge impact not only on individuals and families, but also on the workforce of many frontline services and other organisations.

Convened by CALM, the coalition includes Samaritans and frontline services from land, sea, and air: National Rail, Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), Highways England, British Transport Police and the National Police Chiefs’ Council, Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) and the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives. These agencies are joined by Unilever’s male grooming brand Lynx, one of CALM’s key partners.

The Duke of Cambridge welcomes the coalition, to which he will bring his own experience as a Search and Rescue helicopter pilot. The aim is to pool all members’ substantial expertise in dealing with suicide at first hand to develop a resource which helps men identify and support others, and themselves, when down, depressed or suicidal.

Jane Powell, CEO of CALM, said: “Suicide is frequently bracketed as the actions of the ‘mentally ill’. However, from our helpline we know that men who are suicidal are often tackling the kinds of life problems which can affect any of us, male or female, although it’s damned hard for men to admit to needing help or even find it. With the support of these male-dominated industries who know only too well the impact of suicide, we’re determined to normalise getting men help.”

  • Suicide is the biggest single killer of men aged under 45 in the UK. There were 6,109 suicides in the UK in 2014 of which 76%, or 4,623, were male (NISRA, GRO, ONS 2014).
  • The daily cost of male suicide is estimated at £20 million per day on the basis that 12 men on average take their life every day, and the cost of a single suicide in the UK is estimated at £1.67 million (Source: McDaid, D., Park, A., & Bonin, E. (2011). Population level suicide awareness training and intervention. In M. Knapp, D. McDaid & M. Parsonage (Eds.), Mental Health Promotion and Prevention: The Economic Case (26-28). London: Department of Health)
  • Each year more than 2,500 rail personnel and support services staff deal with the aftermath of suicides on the railway whilst a further 1100 actively prevent them
  • In 2015 there were 790 incidents reported to Highways England as suicides or attempted suicides on England’s motorways and major A roads.
  • On the roads more than 1,500 suicide related incidents were recorded between April 2013 and December 2014 and the Fire and Rescue Service attend a further 1,500 incidents
  • Between April 2013 and December 2014 the Fire and Rescue Service attend a further 1,500 incidents
  • Since April 2015, there have been 208 suicides or suspected suicides on the rail network. Frontline rail staff have performed more than 450 interventions during this time, preventing people from harming themselves on the network. The cost per year to the rail industry as a result of suicide is around £50m.
  • Every six seconds somebody contacts Samaritans for help, with 5.4million contacts received last year.

CALM receives a call or web chat from somebody who needs support every 2 minutes when lines are open

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