IT’S IM­POR­TANT

TWIN AT­LANTIC AND FRANK TURNER ARE JUST TWO NAMES TEAMING WITH MENTAL HEALTH CHAR­ITY CALM TO SHINE A LIGHT IN THE DARKÉ

Kerrang! (UK) - - News -

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.”

It’s al­right, Ross, we’ve all been there

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