ITV London has launched a new campaign to raise awareness about the number of men that commit suicide every week.
Last night, people noticed a series of statues that were placed and unmasked on the rooftops of the ITV London buildings. In total, there were 84 life-sized models of various men, all wearing hoods to conceal their faces.
People were very confused and uncomfortable when they saw the statues unveiled, without any context as to what they were or what they symbolised.
And didn’t know quite how to interpret what they were seeing.
Eventually, they began to find out what exactly the statues represented.
— Steven Flynn (@stevenflynn) March 25, 2018
And This Morning decided to discuss its significance on today’s programme. They helped launch the project and explained what it was about and the harrowing statistic that inspired its title.
Project 84 is the name of the installation, whereby 84 statues of men are placed on the precariously high ITV building to not only gain visible attention but to get people openly discussing the issue of male suicide.
84 men take their own lives every single week in the UK, and it’s hoped that having these stark visuals on display will allow the discussion to become more free-flowing and less taboo so preventative measures can be taken.
‘Here at This Morning we never shy away from stories that can difficult to talk about – and without doubt, one of the most heartbreaking is losing a loved one to suicide,’ Phillip Schofield said on today’s show.
— This Morning (@thismorning) March 26, 2018
Phillip and co-host Holly Willoughby both revealed the sculptures on this morning’s show, hopeful that it’ll encourage anyone contemplating suicide to have the confidence to talk to someone about their thoughts rather than feel alone.
‘Today we are unveiling 84 life-sized sculptures – each representing a real man who has taken his own life, in the hope that it will stop people in their tracks, make them pay attention and get them talking,’ Holly said.
The art instillation is the idea of US street artist Mark Jenkins who is working in association with CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably). Their aim is to reach out to those having suicidal thoughts and to begin a dialogue over securing better help and support for bereaved families.
‘We’re using This Morning’s iconic studio location to help spread a powerful message. We’re also putting male suicide front and centre on the show. Just like our Be Kind anti-bullying campaign, hopefully, we can help save lives and start a conversation about something that traditionally hasn’t been talked about enough,’ said This Morning’s editor Martin Frizell.
You can find out more about what CALM do and read about the 84 real-life stories depicted by the statues here.