‘Raising awareness of mental health issues has never been more important, and what better way to do it than through music.’
Perhaps more than ever before, artists are using new releases as both a form of therapy and a force for good. And this week, the latest track from Josh Thurlby and Maletka will prove just how important increasing awareness around mental health in general is.
Entitled Superman, the duo express that ‘the single represents how individuals don’t always need to be their own support network, and sometimes we can rely on others to be the hero when we are in need.’ Ultimately though, while they hope the release acts as a tool for encouraging people to reach out for help, they also want it to remind people that they aren’t alone, that others around them might be in need of support too, and that it’s their opportunity to be there for them. Big aims indeed.
However, in addition to all this, the release will also be supporting and raising funds for suicide prevention charity Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM).
First launched 15th December 1997 as a pilot by the Dept of Health in Manchester, CALM was later and rolled out to Merseyside and Cumbria in 2000, followed by Luton and Bedfordshire. A few years later, it was announced that the pilot would end and founder Jane Powell was invited to close it. However, finding that local commissioners and supporters wanted it to continue, she launched CALM as a national charity on 31st March 2006. The launch was supported by ads on MTV and billboards provided by JCDecaux, Clear Channel and Viacom across England and CALM’s inaugural trustee was music manager Anthony Wilson.
“The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is leading a movement against suicide. Every week 125 people in the UK take their own lives. And 75% of all UK suicides are male. CALM exists to change this.”
Between then and 2011, CALM was aimed at men aged 15-35, but that year it became clear that the volume of male callers aged over 35 was increasing, and suicide among older men was too. With this becoming apparent, CALM consulted extensively with supporters, funders and commissioners before expanding its remit to cover all men in the UK. [www.thecalmzone.net]
Given these statistics, and the importance of raising awareness around the situation, there’s no doubting that CALM is an incredibly worthy cause to fundraise for. However, with vocalist Josh explaining why they specifically choose it, the reasons become even clearer.
“I feel incredibly strongly that suicide should at no point be an option and I’ve been aware of them [CALM] for a long time. Funnily enough one of my guitar picks that I use had the CALM logo stamped onto it – think I found it in the music department at school. They speak so strongly about the support available, and provide incredible services to help people, that running a campaign for CALM alongside our release felt like a great way of trying to raise awareness for the effects of mental health, and give the charity some financial support.”
With so much consideration behind the charity of choice, it may come as little surprise that this isn’t the first release that the duo have used as a force for good.
“We previously released a stripped back version of our first single ‘Life After Mine’ in aid of Movember. Life After Mine was about a group of friends who had lost a friend to the effects of mental health, and we wanted the single to signal that togetherness is such a strong means to provide support and to remind people who may be struggling that support is there.”
Reflecting on the approach taken forward into Superman, Josh continues, “Once Superman had taken its shape in our heads, and we were coming to the end of the process, we stepped back from it and really took the time to understand the song’s purpose. It’s such a positive song, with very pure intentions, and with it also emphasising mental health we wanted to communicate its values properly. Let it live rent-free in your head – we promise it’ll be a good tenant.”
Superman, by Thurlby & Maletka is out Friday 19th February 2021, and you can donate towards raising money for CALM by visiting the Go Fund Me page here.
You can find out more about CALM, as well as get support and advice on issues mentioned here.
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