After Life teams up with CALM to donate bench to Greater Manchester park

After Life, Netflix and mental health charity Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) have installed 25 benches across the country, including one in Manchester to help raise awareness for suicide prevention.

It follows on from the success of the show, especially the third and final series.

This bench is located in Wythenshawe Park, right by the picnic benches where the Horticultural Centre and greenhouses are. 

After Life, created, directed and starby Ricky Gervais, explores key themes surrounding depression and suicide.

The protagonist played by Gervais tries to live with the grief from the passing of his wife who lost her battle to cancer. 

The dark humoured nature of the hit-series has created memorable moments from the show as it portrays the destructive way Tony deals with his grief.

However, the personal as emotional aspect left the audience reaching for the tissues.

Now After Life, Netflix and CALM have commissioned benches to be built, including one in Wythenshawe Park in South Manchester.

The mental health charity, takes a stance against suicide and encourages those who are suffering to stand up against stereotypes and societal expecations to speak out to those around you.

CALM aims to bring people together and start the conversation, similarly to After Life.

Gervais’ character, Tony, is often seen sitting on the bench facing his wife’s grave where the most emotional and heartfelt scenes take place.

Here, Tony confides in Anne, played by Penelope Wilton, who has equally suffered loss.

It allows the audience to see another way Tony deals with grief and how sharing problems with someone you trust can ease the hurt you feel.

On the benches include the pivotal and deeply important quote from the series ‘Hope Means Everything’.

Additionally, a QR code can be accessed which directly leads you to the CALM website which provides advice if you’re ever experiencing the thoughts seen through the show.

QR code to access CALM’s support

It is vitally important to speak about issues you may be feeling and start the conversation which is the purpose of the 25 benches.

Gervais spoke to CALM and has said: “I don’t think any harm can come from discussing taboo subjects, if we don’t, they stay taboo because people are scared to talk about them.” 

“After Life let people talk about grief, and it was so good to start the conversation.”

CALM has additionally stated: “The show has helped people to stop feeling ashamed or embarrassed about discussing their emotions.”

“It’s a show that makes you think about your own life, how you handle tragedy, what it all means and what’s important to you.”

“It’s shown that, yes, grief does hit you like a ton of bricks, but talking openly, in a real way, about how you’re feeling does actually really help.”

“And in this series it shows that hope is everything.”

“Like After Life shows, grief doesn’t always make sense, and how you feel can change from day to day or hour to hour.”

“It’s common to hear the saying ‘time is a healer’ or words to that effect, but grief isn’t something you ‘get through’.”

“It can resurface years after a loss and can feel just as intense.”

“Having someone to support us when we’re experiencing grief is important, as is being able to talk openly about how you feel.”

CALM offers a helpline and webchat which operates from 5pm through to midnight which provides confidential and practical support to those which call. 

This can all be accessed here:

Or by calling, 0800585858

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