Charity CALM encourages men to reach out to their friends, with help from Dave TV

CALM, the male suicide prevention charity, is getting a lot of support from the media world. That’s probably not a coincidence given the overwork, lack of job security, and blokey culture that permeates the industry.

Adam&eve/DDB’s Project 84 campaign for the charity won a lot of awards this year, and last year BMB created a spoof water brand for CALM, supposedly containing the tears of Love Island star Chris Hughes.

Now TV channel Dave has started a year-long campaign for CALM under the banner “Be the mate you’d want.” It starts with a prime time, Monday night ad break devoted to a series of films – created-in house at Dave – providing advice on how to be a good friend.

Dave’s audience (the channel claims to reach 19 million viewers a month) is 60 per cent male, so the films are very much aimed at blokes, talking about how small acts of kindness can be a lifeline, and suggesting that a text, a tweet or a chat can make all the difference.

Luke Hales, Dave’s channel director, said: “Research has highlighted that millions of men experience loneliness, but suffer in silence. This campaign is our small gesture for anyone who may be going through a tough time. We hope it will encourage people to reach out to friends who need a reminder that someone is thinking of them.”

Dave and CALM surveyed 2,300 men and women in the UK. They found that, while 86 per cent of men would want to help a friend having a tough time, 35 per cent wouldn’t know how, even though they knew how a friend could help them: 38 per cent said they would appreciate a message, 48 per cent would appreciate friends making them laugh, and 41 per cent would appreciate a friend suggesting they go for a drink.

Simon Gunning, CEO of CALM, said: “One of the fundamental issues is that, when men are finding things tough or struggling with their mental health, they still face social stigma, so we hope the campaign will create a positive environment where men can feel comfortable opening up to and supporting their mates.”

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