Calm stunt shows incoming helpline calls in real time to shatter 'call for help' stigma

Calm launches 'Call For Help' campaign

To generate greater visibility of its helpline and services, Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) has launched a campaign that aims to shatter the stigma of reaching out.

For those who experience suicidal thoughts, opening up to another and asking for help is not easy. For this reason, many people suffer in silence, feeling they are alone in the world.

Accoring to Calm, suicide is the biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK. Driven by the integral role helplines play in preventing deaths, Calm has launched 'Call For Help' - a hard-hitting visual campaign in partnership with adam&evedDDB and Ocean Outdoor.

Over 200 calls and webchats are answered by the Calm helpline daily, which has helped to prevent 675 suicides in 2018 alone. In 2018, demand for the line grew by 53%.

Calm activated 'Call For Help' via a series of out-of-home (OOH) digital displays and billboards across London, Manchester and Birmingham, designed to resemble the screen of a smartphone.

To normalise the service for those who might be scared of reaching out, the screens demonstrates how often the helpline receives calls by connecting them live to the phone line.

Mirroring the incoming calls in real time, the campaign publically shows how many people are opening up and receiving support from the charity every day.

Every time Calm receives a call, the ads will be interrupted, and once answered, passers-by will be alerted by a loud ringtone that captures their attention.

The screens will switch to a ‘call in progress’ phone screen to emphasise the regularity and the immediacy with which people can be helped when they’re experiencing a difficult time.

Calm is becoming renowned for its hard-hitting campaigns. Last year it launched Project 84 - a stunt that places 84 lifelike mannequins on the ledges of London's ITV Southbank buildings to raise awareness on male suicide.

Ex-England footballer Rio Ferdinand featured in a film for its 'Best Man Project' - an initiative that celebrates the power of friendships and encouraged men to look out for their friends.

The campaign was conceived as part of The Drum's annual Do it Day event, which brought marketers together to find solutions to some of the UK's most pressing mental health issues, the 'Best Man Project' has been running since November 2017.

Discussing Calm's latest campaign, its chief executive Simon Gunning said: “Suicide is an issue that affects everyone, and so we work with the whole of society through campaigns such as ‘Call For Help’ that aim to raise awareness of the support that is available for anyone going through a tough time, while showing the positive impact that a call to the Calm helpline can have on an individual’s life.

"In 2018 we directly prevented 675 suicides, and we aim to further open up the conversation around mental health and suicide, empowering more people to best support their own wellbeing and that of those around them."

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