The release coincides with blue Monday – said to be the day of the year when rates of depression are at their highest.
What is Blue Monday?
Well-known Manchester-based band New Order has released a new ‘Blue Monday’ themed t-shirt in support of UK mental health charity CALM.
The new piece of merchandise is the work of Factory Records graphic designer Peter Saville and is based upon the design for the band’s seminal 1983 track of the same name.
The T-shirt is available for sale from Monday, January 16th. The third Monday in January each year is widely known as ‘blue Monday,’ which is regarded as the most depressing day for many.
In this new year period, when the weather is poor, daylight is minimal, and the first post-Christmas payday is still around two weeks away, it is said that the general public’s mental health is at its lowest on this day each year.
How will this benefit CALM?
According to the band’s website, 100% of proceeds from the t-shirt sales will go to CALM – the Campaign Against Living Miserably. The T-shirt is available to purchase from today until February 17th, 2023.
Announcing the release of the shirt, New Order said in a statement,
“We are proud to be ambassadors for CALM and honored to be using our record ‘Blue Monday’ to help raise awareness for the brilliant work the charity does to support millions of people struggling with their mental health. Ultimately we wanted to use this as a vehicle to raise awareness and funds for CALM’s important work. Whether you’re having a Blue Monday, Tuesday or Thursday, we want people to know that CALM is there for you every day if you’re struggling.”
Delighted with the support being offered to the charity by one of the best-known UK bands in the last thirty years, CALM CEO Simon Gunning said,
“‘Blue Monday’ has been on repeat since 1983 for a generation of music lovers. From the first beat of the introduction, to perhaps the most iconic 12” sleeve of all time, millions of people are instantly drawn into what has rightly become one of the best-loved tracks in British music history – and that memorable opening line ‘How does it feel?’ fits perfectly into CALM’s ethos of support.
To have New Order and Peter Saville support us with such a brilliantly creative idea we will reach thousands of people with the clear message that whether it’s the middle of January or any other day, CALM is always here for you.”
Taking a stand for mental health
Earlier last year, New Order’s lead singer Bernard ‘Barney’ Sumner and drummer Stephen Morris appeared in Parliament to discuss mental health and suicide prevention on the 42nd anniversary of the death of their Joy Divisi bandmate Ian Curtis. Joy Division became known as New Order following Curtis’ death.
During the discussion, Sumner recalled Curtis’ final years and how hard it can be to spot the signs of depression. Describing the frontman as a “regular, happy-go-lucky guy” and speaking about their experiences, Sumner said,
“Originally, we didn’t think he had a mental health problem – we thought he had a problem with epilepsy,” . “His lyrics were a bit on the dark side, to put it mildly, but when Ian was with us on a day-to-day basis and in rehearsals, he was a good laugh.
“You look at a lot of photos of Ian at the time, and a lot of them are of him with his head in his hands. Those photos were taken in the two weeks before he died. Most of the rest of the time, he was fine.”
Sumner went on to explain how attitudes towards depression and breaking down the stigma that surrounds mental health have come a long way since Curtis’ death. He said,
“You were told in those days that suicide attempts were a cry for help, but that’s not really the case. It’s as serious as hell and should be taken seriously.”
The issues presented by Blue Monday
This time of year is known to affect many of us. From Seasonal Affected Disorder (SAD) to the cost of living crisis and other factors at play, many find the start of each new year a challenging course to navigate.
With the release of the new Blue Monday T-shirt, it is good to see that the stresses of this time of year do not go unnoticed by bands such as New Order, who have enjoyed a long, multinational music career but have also experienced firsthand personal and collective tragedy at the loss of a much-loved bandmate,
It is also good to see that a leading UK mental health charity will benefit from this initiative – thus allowing it to continue its vital work in times such as now when its services are required more now than ever.
If you have been affected by the contents of this article or require further support concerning your mental health, please follow this link to our Get Help pages.