Life-sized sculptures of 84 men have been installed on top of ITV’s London HQ to call for improved suicide prevention services and bereavement support. Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 45, with 84 men taking their own lives in the UK each week.
The figures were created by American sculptor Mark Jenkins in collaboration with agency adam&eveDDB. The project, called Project 84, has been developed by suicide prevention charity The Campaign Against Living Miserably (Calm), with support from ITV’s This Morning programme. Mark Jenkins worked closely with the relatives of men who have recently taken their own lives to collect their stories for the Project 84 website.
The figures were installed today (26 March) and will remain in place for three days. It is hoped that the life-sized figures, which teeter on the edge of ITV’s Southbank building, will start a conversation about the scale of male suicide in the UK and remove the stigma from seeking support.
Calm CEO Simon Gunning said, “Project 84 is all about making the scale of the situation very clear and we hope it will drive change and encourage everyone, government included, to come together to take suicide seriously. Achieving our goal of male suicide prevention requires everybody to take a stand.”
Urban artist Mark Jenkins is known for his street sculptures, often using life-like human figures to draw attention to challenging ideas. His sculptures have included stabbing victims, homeless people and children rummaging through Rio de Janeiro’s refuse dumps. In 2008 he worked with Greenpeace to draw awareness to the melting Arctic ice caps by creating sculptures of rough sleepers with fuzzy polar bear heads.