CALM and Heads Together runners train for the
ON Sunday, 23 April 2017, 42 runners
will take part in the Virgin Money London Marathon in support of the Campaign
Against Living Miserably (CALM), the UK's leading charity dedicated to
preventing male suicide.
CALM is a partner of Heads Together, the official charity of this year's London
Marathon and spearheaded by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.
CALM has been working with Heads Together for twelve months in the run up to
what's being dubbed the:- 'mental health marathon', raising
awareness that suicide is the single biggest killer of British men under the age
In an exclusive interview with CALM's quarterly magazine CALMzine, The Duke of
Cambridge described this statistic as:- "absolutely appalling,"
adding that he believes:- "there may be a time and a place for the 'stiff
upper lip', but not at the expense of your health."
In a new film released today by Heads Together, The Duke and Duchess of
Cambridge and Prince Harry discuss their own experiences. Prince Harry says of
losing his mother:- "I always thought to myself 'what's the point in
bringing up the past? What's the point in bringing up something that's only
going to make you sad? It isn't going to change it, it isn't going to bring her
back.' And when you start thinking like that it can be really damaging."
CALM's research shows men are less likely than women to talk about experiencing
depression, with a common reason being embarrassment . In the CALMzine
interview, Prince Harry said:- "We will all go through tough times in our
lives, but men especially feel the need to pretend that everything is OK, and
that admitting this to their friends will make them appear weak. I can assure
you this is actually a sign of strength."
This is something that resonates with one of CALM's runners, Jonathan Stanger. A
successful businessman, Jonathan, aged 44, was diagnosed with depression and
turned to CALM's services at his lowest point. He said:- "CALM helped me
regain perspective and seek out the right advice. This really helped me, I want
to do all I can to support this wonderful charity."
Another CALM runner, Alex Stanley, 31, lost his brother to suicide. Alex said:-
"He didn't feel he could talk about how he was feeling. I'm running to let
everyone know it's okay to speak up and tell someone you are feeling down.
Talking about your feelings is not a sign of weakness but one of incredible
When Terry Creasy took his own life in 2012, his whole family were deeply
affected. His wife, Philippa; son, Will; and daughter, Henrietta, are running
the London Marathon for CALM and Heads Together. Philippa said:- "Suicide
is not a word that I ever thought would be associated with our family. We feel
very privileged to have the opportunity to raise money to help other men."
As well as raising funds and awareness, training for the marathon itself has
been a form of therapy for those experiencing mental health problems. For
Beverly based Paul Plowman, featured in the BBC One documentary:- 'Mind
Over Marathon,' the process has been transformative.
Plowman explained to CALM how running has helped him manage depression:-
"Even though doctors and friends had told me that regular exercise would improve
my mental health I was stupidly quite skeptical. 6 months down the line I no
longer take anti depressants and I have found that getting out at least two or
three times a week running has kept me more balanced and more in control of my
Simon Gunning, CEO of CALM, said:- "CALM is enormously proud of every
single runner taking on the marathon challenge this weekend. The outpouring of
support for our runners and for the mental health marathon is unprecedented. We
look forward to translating this support into tangible change that saves lives."
For more information visit:-
CALM's helpline and webchat are open daily 5pm to midnight and are free,
confidential and anonymous on the charities