Three-year partnership will help the charity Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) to reach more men in the most at-risk age groups

Carling and suicide prevention charity CALM, are joining forces to help more men get the help they need to protect their mental health and promote new conversations amongst friends, family and colleagues.

The three-year partnership will see Carling back CALM’s crucial work in providing frontline support for those facing a crisis point, or feeling like they need to talk about life’s problems.

Suicide is the single biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK, and the cause of 18 deaths every day. CALM was founded to tackle this issue and since its launch in 2006, has helped millions of men, and their friends and families, to change their lives for the better.

As mental health  continues to be under the spotlight, the partnership will see Carling help CALM reach even greater audiences, and in particular amongst men who are in the most at-risk age groups and who may feel unable to talk about the mental health problems that we all face at some point in our lives.

As the UK’s No. 1 Lager*, Carling is often a part of conversations between friends, team-mates, workmates and families around the country. That conversation might begin with football or work, but lead to talking about how someone really is, how they’re really feeling. And that conversation, that person listening to their friend, might be just one of the things that means someone gets the help they need.

To help connect mates and communities in our current circumstances, Carling is launching Caring; a social media campaign designed to open conversations, encourage people to look out for each other and be there when they can’t be there. The campaign will aim to help normalise what to some people might feel like tricky conversations about mental health and spread awareness of CALM’s support services.

Over time, Carling’s support will also help CALM expand its helpline offering, including a new social-first approach. The helplines – manned by professionally trained staff– are a source of inspiration and advice for everyday struggles as well as new, unique challenges being faced. They are for those experiencing difficulties themselves or for those who know someone who is. The aim is to help men have those conversations about everyday struggles, on their own terms.

The partnership will provide long-term support for the charity but is particularly timely in light of these exceptionally challenging times. In lockdown, connecting with your family and friends is more difficult, especially when some of the occasions that many men in particular find so important – be that having a pint together in the local, or getting together to watch the football – are not currently possible.

CALM has seen a record number of people needing its services since the Coronavirus pandemic emerged, in the first week alone the helpline experienced a 37% surge in calls.

Phil Whitehead, Managing Director at Molson Coors Beverage Company who own and brew Carling, said: It is shocking and desperately sad that suicide is the single biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK. This is a national issue, and as the number one lager brand in the UK, Carling has a huge male audience in every area of the country, including men in age groups known to be at particularly high risk of suicide. By working together, we can help CALM to reach more of the people who may need their support.

“Our Carling Made Local platform is rooted in a social purpose built around supporting others, bringing people together and making positive differences and this is activated in local communities through our Made Local project fund. Our new three-year charity partnership with CALM is a natural extension of this.

“We know that there may be some people who will raise their eyebrows at a brewer working with a mental health charity, and we don’t shy away from the fact that at its worst, alcohol can be part of the problem. Alcohol is never an answer to any mental health difficulties in any way, but people all over the world enjoy drinking responsibly and those normal cultural occasions can be a great opportunity for important conversations. For us this is exactly why this partnership is so important. We know that we have a unique ability to help CALM reach a much broader audience, encourage more men to really be there for their friends, and help to normalise conversations about how someone is really feeling in everyday settings – whether that’s doing a virtual pub quiz with friends at the moment, or, when normal life starts to return, watching the footy or getting together with friends after work. We believe we can help CALM to spread the message that it’s ok to talk about everyday struggles and to make more people aware of the support it can offer – and for us that is really what it comes down to, we can help and so we should.”

Simon Gunning, CEO at Campaign Against Living Miserably said,

“There are 18 deaths by suicide every day in the UK. 75% of those are male, and suicide remains the single biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK. That is unacceptable. We all go through tough times, whether it’s the breakdown of a relationship, losing a job, financial worries, or going through a bereavement. And now more than ever It’s important to know that checking in on someone, even if it's just a text, can make a huge difference.

“CALM has always been present in places that you might not expect us to be. That’s because mental wellbeing doesn’t exist in a vacuum. By being in those areas where mental health issues often go unrecognised or ignored, we open up the conversation to everyone, we move it forward, tackle taboos and, crucially, stop people from reaching crisis point. Our long term three-year partnership with Carling allows us to do just that. By opening the door to millions more people, and in particular those who are in the most at-risk age groups, we can continue to play an important role in challenging the stigma surrounding mental health and suicide, and take another step forward in creating long-term cultural change.”

*CGA & Nielsen volume sales, 2019