On Monday, ITV unveiled a poignant campaign, in order to highlight the issue of male suicide.
The network, and one of its flagship shows, This Morning, revealed that they had installed 84 statues of men across the top edges of their London buildings, as part of their ‘Project 84’, to address the issue of mental health in men.
84 is the number of men who commit suicide per week in the UK. 12 sit on the roof of the This Morning studios, while the other 72 are on ITV’s main building.
ITV shared striking images of the campaign at the beginning of the week – putting the reality of male suicide into sharp focus. The campaign is being run in collaboration with male suicide charity CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably).
The statues are life-size, and show the men with hoodies over their head – suggesting that it really could be anyone.
Each of the 84 statues were actually made to represent a real life lost to suicide, and were inspired by real stories.
The powerful installation was designed by American artist Mark Jenkins – who worked with bereaved family members and friends during a series of workships to create the statues.
Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby yesterday addressed the striking campaign on This Morning – given that many of the statues had been placed on top of the programme’s building.
Phillip said, “Here at This Morning we never shy away from stories that can difficult to talk about – and without doubt, one of the most heartbreaking is losing a loved one to suicide.”
While Holly shared that the purpose of the campaign is to get people talking about the issue.
She said, “Today we are unveiling 84 life-sized sculptures – each representing a real man who has taken his own life, in the hope that it will stop people in their tracks, make them pay attention and get them talking.”
Many fans took to social media to praise the moving campaign for raising awarness of male suicide.
One wrote on Twitter, ‘Great campaign to raise a very needed awareness of male suicide. Fantastic job. Well done. 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻”. While another agreed, “So much respect for you all showing this today, I hope more ppl will get to understand more about mental health.’
Suicide is the single biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK, according to charity CALM.
If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, you can visit the CALM website here for help, advice and support.
You can also call their helpline on 0800 58 58 58, which is open from 5pm to midnight, 365 days a year.