Stammering still carries a heavy social stigma - it's time we saw more representation in public life
Jane Powell is the CEO of the British Stammering Association, a post which she took up in 2018. Prior to this she founded the national charity CALM, the Campaign Against Living Miserably in 2006, which she ran until 2017. A multi-award-winning charity dedicated to reducing male suicide in the UK. She championed the need to look at the part gender plays in male suicide from the outset and steered the course of the charity, part campaign, part service, from a hand-to-mouth existence to robust, nationally recognised campaign taking over 50K calls a year, the support of Royals alongside that of Lynx and Topman, spearheading the conversation around men's mental health. Her background in campaigning began at Greenham Common, and then variously for Conscience, CND, Charter 88, Low Pay Unit, Greenpeace as well as for the Department of Health and Margaret Beckett MP.
No, Trump hasn’t threatened biological warfare, just nuclear war, in a bizarre ‘my button is bigger than yours’ tweet
08/01/2018 16:52 GMT
I've never found it that easy to know what the 'right' question is when confronting an issue, it has always been more of a visceral search in the dark, guided by instinct rather than reason. But, following on from my last piece, it isn't just the questions that are important, why and how you frame an argument can be absolutely critical and have unintended consequences.
04/10/2017 11:48 BST
Launching the charity, CALM, the starting question seemed clear. 'Why do more men take their lives than women?' It took a while to realise this question wasn't helpful. Men take their lives because of any number of reasons - money, depression, relationships, health, indeed men take their lives for the same reasons that women attempt to take their lives.
28/09/2017 16:15 BST
It is marvellous to see men mentioned in relation to suicide. Yes, it is historic. The journey now needs to be about how we tackle the issue. The voluntary sector has a role. As does government - we need a national strategy, with teeth. Suicide is the single biggest killer of men aged under 45 in the UK, so let's move on from the name-check and look at a national plan.
09/01/2017 17:28 GMT
<img alt="bmm banner.jpg" src="http://i.huffpost.com/gen/4815860/original.jpg" width="300" height="35" /> There's a gender element to suicide - and indeed to mental health. It leads me to ask again why we aren't pouring money into researching why we aren't funding research to explain why more men take their lives than women... Now, as we enter November, it <em>is </em>time to change.
01/11/2016 09:02 GMT
Today, on World Suicide Prevention Day, the focus is male suicide. Suicide is currently the single biggest killer of men aged under 45 in the UK, and men are nearly four times more likely than women to take their own life. It is great that we are, finally and collectively, encouraging men to get support. But surely the big, currently unanswered question is why men.
10/09/2016 11:16 BST
Nationally, despite the devastation caused by every suicide - to the friends, family, colleagues and all those working 'at the coalface', the topic has yet to make it as a central public issue. Which it should be. With an average of 12 men a day, according to published figures, male suicide costs the country £20million PER DAY. A cost which excludes suicide attempts.
13/05/2016 20:00 BST
Bizarrely men can, legitimately, deal with or process issues in any other way - they can sing, act, write, create and pour their hearts and souls into such activity, and gain respect for doing so. But on a day-to-day level, talking about things that affect them negatively is verboten.
29/01/2015 17:30 GMT
The urgent physical urge to stop everything now is as primal as sex. At that point, ripping off the civilised veneer that the world sees and coming out, is as contrary an idea as putting a hand deeper into a fire. Bad enough you looking at you, which you can't bear to do. To have others see you as you are, right then, is unconscionable.
24/08/2014 23:10 BST
Do I believe everyone has the right to take their life? I think I probably do, but we're looking at this from the wrong end. What's unacceptable is that thousands of people reach a point where they feel that the physical or emotional pain they're suffering is so great that a painful death is better than a painful life, that they have no other option but to end it.
11/05/2014 22:56 BST
We are double blind to the issue, we've our fingers in our ears when suicide is mentioned, and this wanton deafness pops up when it comes to our attitudes towards men being weak. Better to blank both issues, most particularly when the two combine. And so we have a society where suicide accounts for the lives of more men aged 20-49 than any other single cause. Bigger than road deaths. I write this having watched Newsnight bemoan the 68 deaths a year from illegal highs, or around one death a week. By comparison 12 UK male deaths a day should warrant a series.
06/04/2014 12:51 BST
At the start of this year CALM named 2014 as 'Year of the Male', an opportunity to understand why 77% of suicides in the UK are men. A challenge has come back that even the name 'Year of the Male' is too political and would upset feminists. This has left me thinking long and hard. It seems strange that it's OK to talk about women's issues but not men's.
05/03/2014 16:32 GMT
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