Chorleywood based comedian/presenter and ex SCD student Jack Rooke was invited to the launch of new charity Heads Together last month in his role as ambassador for male suicide prevention charity CALM (Campaign against Living Miserably) He tells us about the new initiative and meeting Prince William
Jack Rooke has been working with CALM since his university years where he chose to make male suicide the subject of his final year dissertation.
“CALM do some amazing work to help young men and support women – mothers, wives, girlfriends and sisters. Jane Powell, the charity’s founder believes we will have a happier society if men don’t have to be the strong and silent types. My work with CALM led to a comedy and poetry showcase that’s accessible to young people. This approach has become my trademark. Humour is great at breaking down barriers, starting conversations and encouraging people to open up so it doesn’t feel awkward.”
On 19 April Jack received an email asking him to go to Kensington Palace with Jane and two other CALM ambassadors.
“ It was all hush hush, we were told we would be meeting some principals so expected people in suits but William, Harry and Kate arrived. It was the launch of the new mental health initiative called Heads Together, which is 6 mental health charities joining together to work for better services and as a joint charity for next year’s London Marathon. It’s genuinely amazing. Prince William is a brilliant person to comment on the topic, not only is he an accessible spokesperson but has a genuine concern, I think partly because as a young person himself he had to deal with bereavement in a public forum. He has since revealed that the first ever patient he attended with air ambulance was a suicide attempt. We had a chat about CALM and I told him about my Good Grief show and my Nan! “
The Heads Together initiative involves inspiring charities that are tackling stigma, raising awareness, and providing help for people with mental health challenges. It is the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon Charity of the Year and the biggest single project Their Royal Highnesses have undertaken together
“This year long campaign should have legacy beyond the London Marathon” adds Jack “it’s important that it’s not just dropped and forgotten after the event.
What’s Next for Jack …
“Lots more about mental health treated in a comedic way “
– A 30 minute scripted comedy show in development for Radio 4
– Happy Hour, a live comedy theatre show commissioned for Soho Theatre directed by Joe Murphy . “ The idea is I have a list of things I think will make me happy and then analyse how much they do – some are funny, some bizarre and some personal
– Possible TV sit com
– More performances of his hit show Good Grief live show “It makes people think and talk about bereavement. And they get a sherbet stick.”
Keep an eye out for updates on Jack and Heads Together in Chorleywood Magazine and on this website