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Rio Ferdinand is the latest star to feature in CALM’S #BestManProject

Press release   •   May 29, 2018 14:42 BST

  • Ex-England and Manchester United footballer Rio Ferdinand is the latest star to lend support to CALM’s Best Man Project. Watch the exclusive film here:
  • The #BestManProject is an initiative from the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), a charity dedicated to preventing male suicide, that celebrates the power of friendships and supports men in looking out for their mates
  • Supporters of the Best Man Project include The Duke of Cambridge, Rio Ferdinand, Loyle Carner, Roman Kemp, Humza Arshad and more

Ex-England footballer and pundit Rio Ferdinand is the latest star to feature in the Best Man Project, an initiative from the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) – a charity dedicated to preventing male suicide.

In the latest film in the Best Man Project series, Rio is joined by his friend and fellow ex-professional footballer Jamie Moralee as they share personal stories of how friendships can have positive effects on men’s mental health and wellbeing. Watch the film here:

This follows an exclusive Best Man Project film in which The Duke of Cambridge joined Rio and a group of men including musician Loyle Carner and broadcaster Roman Kemp to discuss the power of social connections and friendships. The Duke himself discussed his strong relationship with his brother, Prince Harry, as well as touching on how friends have helped him through good times and bad. Watch that film here:

CALM works to prevent male suicide, the single biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK, by providing support services and campaigning to change attitudes that prevent men seeking help. Research shows men’s social connections can wane over time and social isolation is a growing problem, especially for men over 30 [1], while men are much less likely than women to feel comfortable when a man they know opens up to them [2]. However, friendships and peer groups can be instrumental in supporting men’s mental health and wellbeing, and these social connections can provide a lifeline for those in crisis.

To celebrate this, CALM launched the Best Man Project in November 2017. An honour many men experience, being a best man is often a shining example of what it means to be a great mate. Through the Best Man Project, CALM is asking: why save it for a wedding? The Best Man Project has been designed as a helping hand for men who want to feel confident and comfortable being there for mates in good times and bad.

Simon Gunning, CEO of CALM, said: “Friendships can have a hugely positive effect on men’s wellbeing, so we’re delighted to have the support of Rio and Jamie in shining a light on the important issue of male mental health. Building and maintaining connections with others can be genuinely lifesaving for men, and that’s what CALM’s Best Man Project is all about.”

Dr Jay Watts, a Clinical Psychologist, Psychotherapist and CALM supporter, said: “Friendships are incredibly important for mental health, providing social support, connection and community. The Best Man Project is about celebrating male friendship, and encouraging these to be lifelong, deserving of time, celebration and investment. It is so much better to keep these relationships going in good times, even when Netflix beckons, because it can be super hard to reach out to people one has lost contact with when times are tough.”

Follow #BestManProject on social media and sign up at to see further Best Man Project films and to receive tips on being a better mate every day, straight to your inbox.


Contact: Neil Wood, CALM - 07738 160434 / 020 3697 9331

[1] Of men that had experienced or are experiencing loneliness the average age to feel most lonely was 35 (research on behalf of Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness, 2017)

[2] 46% of male respondents said they felt comfortable when a man they knew opened up to them, compared to 57% of female respondents (YouGov 2017).

CALM’s #BestManProject campaign launched in November 2017. For more info and to sign up, visit

Watch exclusive Best Man Project films:

Eight men and a Duke:

Loyle and Tommo:

Humza and Dhanny:

Carl and Kevin:

Roman and Charlie:

Founded in 2006, the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is an award-winning charity dedicated to preventing male suicide. For more information

In 2016, 76% of all suicides in the UK were male. Suicide is the single biggest killer of men aged under-45 in the UK (NISRA, GRO, ONS, 2015). Only 55% of men who’ve experienced depression will tell anyone about it, compared to 67% of women (CALM’s Masculinity Audit 2016).

CALM’s free, confidential and anonymous helpline & webchat are open every day, | | |

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