READING THE news about Ross McCarthy, a local man of just 31, who sadly took his own life after struggling to cope during the latest lockdown really hit home how difficult the last year has been.
We can only imagine how Ross must have been feeling. Our hearts go out to his son, fiancée and family.
We think Ross’s family are amazingly strong as they are campaigning to raise awareness of mental health issues in his memory. They have set up a just giving page in his memory raising money for the charity CALM in his memory www.justgiving.com/fundraising/r-macca
Following in their footsteps we want to raise awareness of mental health issues and the services that are available to those in need.
We got in touch with the team at CALM and invited them to write a guest blog for us to share with you.
CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably)
We know things are tough right now. The last 12 months have been like no other. So many of us have experienced struggles with our mental health, from social isolation, unemployment and money worries, through to grief and bereavement — all of which have meant CALM’s helpline is needed more than ever.
What is CALM?
Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is leading a movement against suicide. We offer free and anonymous life-saving services, we run campaigns that provoke national conversation, and we bring people together to collectively celebrate life and stand together against suicide.
How can CALM help?
On average, 125 people in the UK take their own life every week, with 75% of all suicides in the UK being male. Our helpline services support people who are at a point of crisis, but we also help those concerned about a friend or family member, or those who are experiencing difficult life circumstances like loss of employment, a bereavement, loneliness or addiction. No matter what you’re going through, CALM is here to provide free, anonymous and practical advice. Our professional helpline staff are on hand from 5pm – midnight, every day to chat to whoever needs them.
Get help at www.thecalmzone.net/help/
Or you can call the CALM helpline on 0800 58 58 58, between 5pm-midnight, every day.
Last year, someone contacted our helpline every 66 seconds. That’s almost one phone call per minute from someone who can’t see a way forward or someone who feels their life has been turned upside down.
Our helpline staff are there every day from 5pm to midnight to talk to people who have spiralled into crisis or have no one else to turn to. And in 2020, they directly prevented 564 suicides.
It can feel scary to call or contact a helpline for the first time, but it needn’t be. A call or chat with CALM is free, anonymous and confidential, and you can talk about anything – nothing is too big or too small. Here’s what some previous chatters have had to say about the CALM helpline:
“I stared at the number. I was terrified. Terrified of the shame I felt in asking for help, terrified of being laughed at for being weak… Instead I found someone who listened and that was all I needed at that moment: to be heard.”
“Talking is really important. Once you open up you realise there are lots of people who have felt down or have maybe been on medication. I would say to anyone going through the same thing – just speak to someone.”
There’s nothing you can’t talk about
No, really. Don’t believe us? Here’s what some of the CALM helpline staff had to say about CALM’s services.
“You don’t have to be suicidal to contact us, in fact, we would rather talk with you so you don’t reach that point.”
“A conversation with us can help you talk yourself into a calmer frame of mind.”
“The conversations we have and the range of issues we cover are so diverse. It makes every day so different.”
Find out more
You can find out more about the stuff that’s getting you down in the CALM Get Help Hub where you can read about everything from anxiety, depression and OCD, to relationship breakdowns, racism and work stress.
Struggling? Call us.
When you’re struggling, or can’t see a way forward, you view life in a different way. We’re here to help you see the future clearly. If you need to talk, we’re here every day, 5pm-midnight. No matter what.