TWIN ATLANTIC AND FRANK TURNER ARE JUST TWO NAMES TEAMING WITH MENTAL HEALTH CHARITY CALM TO SHINE A LIGHT IN THE DARKÉ
CAMPAIGN AGAINST Living Miserably, or CALM, is a charity aimed at preventing male suicide. Did you know that 75 per cent of all suicides in the UK in 2015 were committed by men? Well, last year saw 4,618 men taking their own lives, equating to 12 men a day and one man every two hours.that’s a heartbreaking amount of pain and suffering going unnoticed by the majority of the population. But why is Kerrang! telling you this? Well, with the help of Frank Turner and Twin Atlantic, the charity is on a mission to break the stigma related to men’s mental health with a collection of cover versions calledtorch Songs.acts involved includethevaccines (covering Descendents’ Hope), Lower Than Atlantis (covering Robbie Williams’ Strong), Frank Turner (The Mountain Goats’ This Year) and Twin Atlantic (Bruce Springsteen’s The Rising). So, we spoke to Frank Turner and Sam Mctrusty to tell us more about the project, the personal experiences they’ve encountered and how you or a loved one can get help if needed…
FRANK AND SAM, HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED WITH CALM?
SAM MCTRUSTY: “I’ve got a friend who was really affected from losing his brother through a suicide issue, so I became aware of it by being affected as well.”
FRANK TURNER: “A friend of mine wrote a piece about his own issues with mental health, and he me sent a link to it and asked me to put it on my Twitter. It was a beautiful piece, but I knew him quite well and I had no idea he had any issues with this kind of thing; that’s the whole point of what they do at CALM. I’ve been doing some low-level ambassadoring with them for a while, and [when news of] the Torch Songs [project] came through, they asked me if I would be involved.”
WHY DO YOU THINK MEN ARE RELUCTANT TO TALK ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH?
SAM: “I suppose it’s the classic bravado thing, as well as British culture, which is:‘keep things behind closed doors, and don’t let your personal life become public.’” FRANK: “Yeah, that’s what I was going to say. It’s like the British stiff upper-lip, really, and all that crap about ‘Keep calm and carry on.’” SAM: “It’s years of stigma. I guess men don’t want to talk about it because it’s seen as a sign of weakness.” FRANK: “Stigma is the word I was going to use.yeah, there is a big stigma in admitting any kind of problem.”
YOU’RE BOTH MEN IN A STRESSFUL INDUSTRY – WHAT CHALLENGES HAVE YOU FACED?
SAM: “I’ve not had a particularly challenging life in that way – I’ve always been able to openly talk about things. But the thing I’ve struggled with for years that I didn’t even realise was massive bouts of anxiety.about a year ago, I was honest about it with everyone in my life. I got help from my doctor and I now take a form of medicine that levels it out a little bit when it gets particularly bad. My life is a lot happier and smoother.” FRANK: “Personally, I’ve had a lot of ups and downs with this stuff over the years, but substance abuse is definitely something that is linked with my inabilities to cope with things that life has thrown at me.working with CALM I’ve definitely learned different patterns of behaviour when a problem arises that don’t involve going off and immediately getting fucked up…”
THIS IS A UNIVERSAL ISSUE – WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO FEMALES READING THIS?
FRANK: “These are problems that stretch across genders and society – I think there are similar comments to be said for everyone.”
SAM: “If you’ve even got an inclination that there is something not quite right, be honest about it.that’s really helped me.”
FINALLY, IF THERE’S ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU COULD GIVE TO PEOPLE LIVING IN SILENCE, WHAT WOULD THAT BE?
FRANK: “I’d say find someone to talk about it.there are numbers and people who you can call, but the most important thing is to communicate and not to close down and burrow into a hole. I do that with myself all the fucking time, and it doesn’t help.” SAM: “Communication is the first thing you’re encouraged to do, but I definitely agree with what Frank is saying. Be open and talk about it if you’re really struggling.”