In the UK, suicide is the single-biggest cause of death in men under 45, with 84 men taking their own lives every week. Despite this, suicide remains a stigmatised killer which is not talked about in the media, and which is under-acknowledged by culture at large with people being unable to appreciate and unwilling to address the problem's magnitude.
To stop people in their tracks, and make the topic as real, human and visible as possible, we created 84 individual life-like sculptures, each a poignant and personal reminder of a life tragically lost to suicide. Across a series of workshops, bereaved families were guided in American street artist Mark Jenkins' signature tape casting technique to produce the hyper-realistic figures which were then placed atop the unmissable ITV tower.
By creating these figures and placing them in an unavoidable location, we garnered national and international press interest, allowing us to tell their stories through personal interviews with bereaved friends and families to ensure the topic was made as real, human and visible as possible. Furthermore, the campaign aimed to drive people in crisis to the CALM helpline/website, providing them with much needed support and information.
A week after launch, we had achieved more than 2.1 billion earned media reach. Furthermore, we received 220,000 signatures on the Change.org petition to the Secretary of Health, and most importantly, saw a 34% increase in demand for the helpline and webchat support in the 2 weeks following the launch compared to the weekly average prior.