And by “continues”, I mean he made his second ever visit on behalf of male suicide prevention yesterday, May 12 (his first was back in March). Prince William visited CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably), which is part of the Heads Together campaign, for the launch of a coalition of frontline services to help tackle the issue of male suicide.
The coalition, convened by CALM, includes Samaritans and frontline services: National Rail, Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), Highways England, British Transport Police, and the National Police Chiefs’ Council, Chief Fire Officers Association, and the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives. These agencies are joined by Unilever’s male grooming brand Lynx, one of CALM’s key partners.
William attended the coalition’s inaugural roundtable discussion and then visited the RNLI Tower Lifeboat Station to meet first responders who deal with male suicide on a daily basis.
During the roundtable discussion, William said:
“In some of my charity work I have come across issues like this before and, coupled with my air ambulance work where my first job was a male suicide, I realised starkly how big a problem we have in this country. It was really close to me on that first day one of the guys told me that they have five suicides or at least attempted suicides a day in East Anglia alone. I like to think I am fairly well tuned into the charitable world but I hadn’t heard about this at all. My thing really is to get more men talking about their issues before it is too late and to stop feeling so strong and unable to seek help. It can destroy families, it can destroy lives.”
While talking with first responders at RNLI, William had this exchange with Stuart Simpson of the Met Police Marine Unit:
“William asked: ‘Do you guys think that some young guys don’t talk about their issues enough, don’t want to talk about this before it is too late?’
“Mr Simpson replied: ‘Well it’s a macho world, isn’t it. It’s very much social media, not want wanting to talk about your feelings. It’s often more macho to open up and show your feelings but a lot of men don’t see it that way.'”
At the roundtable discussion, Jane Powell, CEO of CALM, said:
“Suicide is frequently bracketed as the actions of the ‘mentally ill’. However, from our helpline we know that men who are suicidal are often tackling the kinds of life problems which can affect any of us, male or female, although it’s damned hard for men to admit to needing help or even find it. With the support of these male-dominated industries who know only too well the impact of suicide, we’re determined to normalise getting men help.”
Jonny Benjamin, who William met back in March, was also at the discussion and said:
“It’s great to see this fantastic coalition of emergency and transport agencies come together with CALM and Samaritans around the issue of male suicide. There is a real need for a resource to help men feel able to offer help, whether that’s a stranger on a bridge or your best mate.”
Back in March, I listed out some general statistics on suicide in both the United States and the United Kingdom, and listed out a bunch of warning sings and risk factors. If you would like to read those, please see my March 10 post. I’m going to list out some more male-specific suicide statistics in this post.
In the United Kingdom (from a 2015 government report with statistics for 2013):
- There were 4,858 male suicides registered in the UK in 2013.
- The UK suicide rate was 11.9 deaths per 100,000 population in 2013.
- Of the total number of suicides registered in 2013 in the UK, 78% were male and 22% were female.
- The male suicide rate was more than three times higher than the female rate, with 19.0 male deaths per 100,000 compared to 5.1 female deaths.
- The highest UK suicide rate in 2013 by broad age group among men was age 45-59, at 25.1 deaths per 100,000.
- Suicide remains the leading cause of death in England and Wales for men aged 20-34 (24% of all deaths in 2013) and for men aged 35-49 (13% of all deaths in 2013).
- A generally downward trend in suicide rates was observed between 1981 and 2007, but there has been an increase in suicide rates since 2007.
In the United States (from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention):
- Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death.
- Each year 42,773 Americans die by suicide.
- The annual suicide rate is 12.93 per 100,000 individuals.
- On average, there are 117 suicides per day.
- Males are 3.5 times more likely than females to die by suicide.
- White males accounted for 7 of 10 suicides in 2014.
- The rate of suicide is highest in ages 45-64 — white men in particular.
Some suicide prevention hotlines and websites:
William visited Oxford University’s Magdalen College to open a brand new library on May 11 and made some comments. From the Daily Mail:
“Speaking about his time at St Andrew’s University, [William] said: ‘I can’t say I was a regular attender of libraries.’ […]
“Jack Barber, 21, who is reading history at Magdalen and helped raise money for the refurbishment, said William spotted that his book had been placed as a prop for the visit. ‘He saw my book and it was obviously the first one I plucked off the shelf. He said: ‘Enjoy your pretend studying’.’ […]
“William also revealed to two major benefactors at the library that he struggled with pronunciation of the college’s name. He asked Dusty and Hilarie Huscher whether the ‘g’ in Magdalen was silent, and they confirmed that it was pronounced ‘maud’ rather than ‘mag’. […]
“William also met a student carrying a poster which read ‘Welcome William’ and mentioned his Heads Together mental health campaign. Katie Shepherd, 20, a biology student at the college, said that while the Duke was pleased to see a reference to the campaign, it showed that she had not been studying hard. ‘He mentioned that I had spent more time doing this rather than work. He joked: ‘typical student’.’ […]
“While touring the school, the Duke joked with one student who had taken a year off from working as a journalist at the BBC in Indonesia. Alice Budisatrijo, who is studying for a Masters degree in public policy, said of her conversation with William: ‘I said I work for the BBC and he said, ‘I won’t hold that against you’.'”
William also said The Gruffalo is his, George’s, and Charlotte’s favorite book.
I know you guys have talked about some of these comments in the previous comment thread, but I bring them up because the one that bothers me the most is the comment to the woman who had #HeadsTogether on her poster. Really, William, you’re going to scold someone for taking the time to care about the mental health campaign you’re trying to launch? In what world does that make sense?
Today is a two post day with a post about Kate’s recent written messages and future appearances also. I will have a post on Prince Harry closing out the Invictus Games tomorrow (I was going to do that today, but they haven’t put Harry’s speech transcript online as of time of posting).