We Should All Support The #BiggerIssues Campaign
Like family gatherings, everything is relative. In the Information Age every single microscopic titbit has the potential to be published, pored over and picked clean before the next one comes along.
Whether it’s somebody quitting Instagram or whether or not spooning is good (full disclosure: it is), the range of space, outlets, writers and commenters means that no stone is left unturned. Indeed, humanity waits with baited breath for the piece titled ‘We Found The World’s Last Unturned Stone — And We Hate It’.
Cynicism aside, you see the point being made. People are being made to ‘sweat the small stuff’ while the wider, more important issues are being ignored or barely given the necessary oxygen of publicity. We’re all guilty of it. I’ve eschewed the latest harrowing reports of refugees crossing Europe in place of the latest Star Wars trailer; nobody is innocent.
Handbrake turn into a stark fact: suicide is the main cause of death for men under the age of 40 in Great Britain. Did you know that until you read that or saw the above image? I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t. As a British man under 45 with a long history of depression and its devastating offshoots and consequences, I don’t revel in the fact that statistically I lie inside a very pronounced danger zone and will do so until the year 2030. I don’t revel in the fact that friends and family do so too. I don’t revel in the fact that millions of others across the country do.
Bigger Issues — a campaign helmed by the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) and Lynx, a leading men’s grooming products manufacturer — is a new initiative designed to bring awareness to a situation that has silently and malevolently shifted from a ‘problem’ to a full-blown crisis.
The Bigger Issues website lays out some jaw-dropping facts. In 2014, suicide claimed the lives of 4,623 men in the UK. That’s 12 per day. That accounts for 8 in 10 of all suicides in Britain. More men in the UK die by their own hands than they do in relation to drugs, road accidents or heart attacks.
Figures released by CALM and Lynx this week revealed that 42% of men in the UK aged 18–45 have strongly and genuinely considered suicide (link leads to the Daily Mail so don’t read the ‘Worst Rated’ comments if you’d like to keep your temper). Such numbers make for upsetting reading, and behind the bustle of everyday life you wonder just what hides behind our masks.
It’s the bustle of everyday life — the trivial detritus — that Bigger Issues is attempting to smash through to make this most urgent of topics more prevalent in the public consciousness.
A hard-hitting poster campaign is being rolled out that juxtaposes the trivial clickbait issues against the cold hard facts of reality. Jose Mourinho’s stadium ban — amusing in its own context —pales in significance when you realise the core demographic of football supporters are the ones in severe danger of succumbing to suicide.
The issue has received little to no airing in Parliament and became buried once again under a landslide of tittle-tattle and bad feeling after a furore involving Jess Phillips MP this past week.
But what is it Bigger Issues wants you to do?
With International Men’s Day on November 19th, CALM and Lynx want the people to take the initiative and push the issue out there themselves via social media.
With an automated tweet going out on the 19th at 8am, Bigger Issues hopes to raise awareness of male suicide in the UK and prevent it casting an even longer shadow than it does now.
For information on how to get involved in any number of ways, visit the Bigger Issues website.