Male suicide is a dreadful problem. Even though men are being encouraged to talk about their problems more, resistance remains. The old idea that it’s manly to be stoic prevails.
Every two hours, a mean takes his own life in the UK. 84 men take their own lives every week.
Adam&Eve DDB is working with UK charity, CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) for the second year to help prevent male suicide. Its campaigns are not happy or positive. In fact, they’re brutal. Last year, the partners reproduced three real suicide notes in their press campaign.
This year, they’ve created an ominous installation of 84 statues of men on the ledges at the top of ITV’s Southbank buildings in London, each with a hood pulled over the face.
The campaign, Project 84, is partly sponsored by grooming brand, Harry’s. The 84 sculptures were created by Mark Jenkins, with support from friends and families who have lost a loved one to suicide. Jenkins interviewed the relatives in a series of workshops, and the resulting figures were made using his trademark tape-casting technique.
ITV program, This Morning, helped to raise awareness of the project by dedicating three days of programming to male suicide, including interviews with loved ones of the men who were represented in the sculptures. Project 84 was supported with a PR campaign by creative communications agency, W.
CALM chief executive, Simon Gunning, noted, “Achieving our goal of male suicide prevention requires everybody to take a stand. As a society we have to face this awful issue, discuss it and actively work to stop it, which is why we’re particularly invested in making this campaign a success.
“Project 84 is all about making the scale of the situation very clear and we hope it will drive change and encourage everyone, government included, to come together to take suicide seriously.”
adam&eveDDB deputy executive creative directors, Ant Nelson and Mike Sutherland, added, “Male suicide and mental health is a big issue that can’t be ignored any longer. It’s unacceptable that so many men are tragically taking their own lives every week, and yet there are so few people talking about it. Hopefully this piece of work will highlight this shocking statistic and help start conversation.”
Today @theCALMzone is launching #project84 with @thismorning Bringing awareness around #MaleSuicide with 84 life-sized sculptures as visual representations of 84 real men who take their own lives every single week in the UK. #SuicidePrevention pic.twitter.com/elDhpDMIht
— ITV Responsibility (@ITV_R) March 26, 2018
One of the ads from last year’s campaign: