Every two hours a man in the UK takes his own life – that’s 84 every week, largely unseen, other than by the family and friends they leave behind.
But it would be difficult to walk past the 84 sculptures standing on top of the This Morning studios and ITV’s headquarters on London’s South Bank without noticing.
They are part of a campaign by CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) to start a conversation about male suicide in a bid for improved suicide prevention and bereavement support.
On the project’s website are the names and details of each of the men, with stories told by those close to them.
They are from different backgrounds, of different ages and races, but what many of them have in common is that they tried to keep their struggles from those close to them.
As one daughter says of her father: “He hid it all too well”.
He said: “Project 84 is all about making the scale of the situation very clear to everyone who sees the sculptures, and we hope that, by working with the families and friends of real men who have taken their lives, we can face the enormous issue of suicide together and strive for change.”
The project is also being run alongside a petition calling for a Government minister to take on official responsibility for suicide prevention and bereavement support.
The petition, started by Matthew Smith, who lost his brother to suicide, has more than 103,000 signatures.
On Twitter, the project was described as “bold”, “hard-hitting” and “powerful”, but some said it was too much.
Clare Whitby wrote on Twitter: “Powerful and necessary campaign but the image is too close home for me, and many others I’m sure. Difficult, because I wholeheartedly believe in the campaign itself.”
Ollie DG wrote: “It’s great for the awareness but it is a little dark and haunting.”
Mr Gunning said: “With Project 84, we wanted to make the scale of the situation very clear to everyone that sees the sculptures.
“By working with the families and friends of men who have taken their own lives to highlight individual stories, we hope to make the impersonal thoroughly personal.”
:: If you feel suicidal or vulnerable, if you’re worried that someone you know may be feeling suicidal or if you need support after losing a loved one to suicide, go to CALM for advice, support lines and webchat.
You can also contact the Samaritans or call 116 123. In the US call the Samaritans branch in your area or 1 (800) 273-TALK.