The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is behind the street art of Ben Slow currently to be seen in Hanbury Street off Brick Lane.
CALM is a charity for suicide prevention. Oliver Mosse, 23, who joined CALM after losing a friend to suicide at university, told EastLondonLines: “Suicide is the biggest killer of young men.” He is now an outreach coordinator for the organisation’s year-old London branch.
In 2010, 75% of the 4,532 suicides recorded in England and Wales were males. Since the establishment of CALM’s original Merseyside branch there has been 55% decrease in the number of local male suicides in that city and the charity is hoping to have a similarly strong impact in east London.
Mosse explained that CALM’s philosophy is based on changing the stigma men associate with mental health issues and depression by creating positive connections through culture.
He said: “We are in their lives…we are skateboarders, we are DJs, we are street artists and we talk about our issues.”
The artistic community has been integral in the charity’s success.
The British Urban Film Festival was CALM’s charity sponsor this past weekend – inviting the organization to screen their films prior to the features.
Even artists like Noel Gallagher and the High Flying Birds have donated their music for free to aid in garnering funds for a helpline that will launch on November 1st.
“Anything that you’re passionate about, you can get involved in CALM…if you’re a guy, if you’ve got an interest – we want to know.”
CALM partners also include Topman – who not only sponsor and distribute CALMzine – but also host musical events like the “Topman Takeover”.
The helpline will be running 7 days a week starting the 1st of November.
CALMzone Helpline London: 0808 802 5858
By Sasha Filimonov