Suicide is the leading cause of death in men under 35 in recent years. Men are nearly three times more likely than women to take their own life. In men under 35, suicide is the second most common cause of death in England and Wales. In Scotland, more men between the ages of 15-35 kill themselves than die from any other cause.
I wish this wasn't the case. I wish that no one wanted to kill themselves. I wish my brother hadn't killed himself.
But life isn't like that. It's hard and it's unfair and some people are so stricken by mental health problems that death seems like the only possible way to cope. We must, together, look after these people and help them find a way out of the worst despair you can't imagine. We have to stop 4,500 people killing themselves (in just England and Wales) every year.
The Campaign Against Living Miserably, CALM, is a lifeline for people who desperately need this help. Originally set up to reduce the high suicide rate amongst young men, they run a free, confidential, anonymous helpline for anybody who needs advice or support. The helpline is open 5pm-midnight from Saturday to Tuesday. But it's not enough. CALM want to run the helpline every day of the week until 3am, but they can't. They are scraping together every penny to cover the existing monthly running costs of £6,400.
This is why Science Showoff, a gig I help to organise, is going to give CALM all its donations in January. The gig is on 12th January at the Wilmington Arms in Clerkenwell, London. Please come along and please, please give generously. We have to help stop the tragedy of suicide.