We’re proud of CALM. A local charity, doing incredible work for people right across the country. It’s an amazing achievement. As you might know already (read SevenStreets’ Tom Harcastle’s piece on his own struggle with depression here), CALM have just released their first book – a fascinating document of the first ten years of a charity who’ve successfully engaged with their target demographic – essentially, men – and got them to open up. To slowly break the taboo; that it’s completely normal to feel depressed and to want to talk about it. Author Fiona Shaw, who wrote the CALM book, talks us through how the book came to fruition…
“CALM iconography, from its logo to hard-hitting ad campaigns, has become the artwork of a generation in Liverpool. Seeping into the collective consciousness, I’d have sworn blind that I’d seen CALM around town long before its launch here in 2000. It seems like it’s been with us forever. But 2000 it was, so in 2011 I sat down with CALM’s co-ordinator on Merseyside, Simon Howes, to start putting a book together, summarising and celebrating its successes over the past ten years.
And so CALM: ten years young came about. The two of us, sitting in LEAF, amidst a mountain of flyers, photos, beer mats and badges that only began to tell the tale of those ten years. The list of people to talk to grew, spidering from every photo and newspaper cutting. I started calling people, out of the blue, telling them what we were doing. People queued up to help: to talk about why they’re CALM supporters, how they got involved, and some of the things they’ve done to raise money. And they were there time and again – talking in the book, supporting us at the launch, donating prezzies for the goodie bags and promoting the book in their various spheres of influence.
The thing that struck me, after the tidal wave of goodwill, was the pure common sense of it all: getting young lads to distribute flyers – leaving them in chippies and hostels, pubs and toilets. Exactly the sort of places people might find them when they needed them. Printing messages on beer mats and pizza boxes; places you might see them when you need someone to talk to. Not the waiting room at the doctor’s. And talking to all men in a language they understand – on the basis that we all need a bit of help at some point. And when we do, there they’ll be.
The thing that struck me, after the tidal wave of goodwill, was the pure common sense of it all: getting young lads to distribute flyers – leaving them in chippies and hostels, pubs and toilets. Exactly the sort of places people might find them when they needed them.
CALM have kindly given us a couple of bulging goody bags to celebrate the book’s release, featuring all sorts of good stuff. To be in with a chance of winning, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject ‘CALM Comp’ – we’ll pick winners on 1st April. What do you get? All this…
A copy of the CALM book Friday Night Laughterhouse Comedy Voucher – Free entry for 2 people Free Coffee Voucher for Bean Coffee A copy of “Powder” DVD – adapted from the novel by Kevin Sampson CALMzine Magazines CALM t-shirt “Sound! – Liverpool Pop Quiz Book” from Capsica Publishing Bido Lito Magazine “Takeaways – 100 classics to cook at home” – Can Cook Studios’ immense cookbook CALM badge & plectrum