A PORTSMOUTH band has released a single to help raise awareness as part of mental health awareness week.
All profits from the song, Speak Easy, by Percival Elliott will go to Calm (the Campaign Against Living Miserably).
This award-winning charity is dedicated to preventing male suicide, the single biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK. In 2015, 75 per cent of all UK suicides were male. And a staggering 84 men take their own lives each week.
The folk-rock duo is made up of frontman Olly Hite and multi-instrumentalist Samuel Carter-Brazier.
Samuel said: ‘Speak Easy is a track about talking to each other and understanding how each other feels.
‘This was an opportunity for us to write a song and put 100 per cent of the proceeds towards a charity like Calm.’
Samuel knows first-hand the impact of a loved-one’s suicide.
‘I lost my cousin to suicide about six years ago. He was only in his twenties,’ he said. ‘If he had mental health problems, there weren’t any that we knew about. His death did come as a bolt from the blue.
‘There’s this thing that men are just told to “man up” and we don’t talk about these things the way we should. There is a stigma to talking about mental health among men. I’ve suffered from down moments, but I was lucky enough to talk to a counsellor and have friends who helped me.’
The idea to use the single as a fundraiser came about through Olly’s friendship with TV presenter and radio DJ Zoe Ball. Her partner Billy Yates committed suicide in May 2017 after suffering from depression.
Samuel, who works as a freelance studio engineer, put the video for the song together out of vintage footage from the 1930s.
‘Originally, the idea had been for it to be of people on telephones, but then I found all of this footage, and thought it was a nice little snapshot into each of these men’s lives.’
‘Every stream incurs something, and everything will go to the charity,’ added Samuel.
For more information on Calm go to thecalmzone.net. If you need help call their helpine on 0800 585858.