Feeling low? Don’t bottle it up … Cameron’s Coasters

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Please vote for Cameron’s Coasters in the 2017 Aviva Community Fund by clicking this link. Voting is quick and easy to do, and will give us the chance to place Coasters in more schools, colleges, universities and other communities around the UK. We want as many as possible of those suffering in silence to learn where they can go for help. Please also share with friends, family and colleagues, and encourage them to vote for Camerons Coasters too! Voting is open until noon on Tuesday 21 Nov. Many thanks, Evan & Carol Grant 

Cameron didn’t seek help and no one – including us and his friends at Uni – knew that he was suffering from depression. Supported by grants from the Aviva Community Fund, and from St James’s Place Foundation we are producing Cameron’s Coasters, customised drink mats, which we will send to universities, local pubs and sports clubs, and other communities to encourage people to get help. Aviva made this excellent video about Cameron’s Coasters: Could these drinks coasters save lives?

 

The aim is to put relevant helpline numbers on Coasters, to catch someone who is vulnerable with the right message at the right time. We have produced drink mats for Royal Holloway, University of London, where Cameron studied Geology, Churchill College, Cambridge and Edinburgh University and many more. To date we have sent out over 320,000 coasters to: 66 universities, 19 Cambridge Colleges, 11 schools, 4 GP Practices, Poole NHS Mental Health, Ricoh Arena and Wasps Rugby Club, other local sports clubs, IBM, West Midlands Police Federation and the White Lion, our local pub. Cameron’s Coasters work just as well with a cup of coffee or a glass of water as they do with a pint of beer, and they are even quite handy around the house! Please see the gallery at the bottom of this article for examples of Coasters used in these various locations.

All our Coasters are the same on one side, but on the other, the details of who to contact for help locally are tailored to each community where they are used. We also have a “national Coaster” with contact details for national charities: PAPYRUS, Samaritans and Mind. We will add new images to the gallery below as we produce more of Cameron’s Coasters.

More recently we have started to produce a plastic card version of the coasters; the cards carry similar help information, but are more enduring and are the size of a credit card so can easily be put in a wallet. As with the Coasters, for the most part, we customise the cards for each community that uses them. The pictures here are of a Card with National Helplines; for further examples, please see the gallery linked from the bottom of this article.

In April 2017, we asked the first 53 colleges and universities to use Cameron’s Coasters for their feedback, and you can see what they told us here at SurveyMonkey. We are very grateful for such a positive response!

We had this wonderful quote from Brianna Middleton MacPherson when she was Co-President Societies and Media, Students’ Union at Royal Holloway University of London:

It has been great to work with the Cameron Grant Memorial Trust this year to promote the importance of talking about mental health with students and young people. The drinks mats have been circulated throughout our campus and are regularly used by students, who have commented on what a great idea they are. Mental Health is high on the agenda for students at Royal Holloway, and the support from the Trust as our main charity for Mental Health Awareness Week has further enhanced this.  For the first time this year we’ve established a Mental Health rep on our Equalities Council, which will help empower students to talk about mental health and tackle issues on our campus.

In her wonderful blog post – Talk to us – we want to listen and help – Carol Clutton of University of Surrey Student Support wrote that a student mentor popped into the office to say:
I just wanted to tell you that the coasters worked! A mentee opened up to me after I gave him the coaster, and he started by saying ‘Now that I know I can talk to you…

Another Mentor told Carol that one of their mentees had booked an appointment with the Centre for Wellbeing the week after receiving the Coaster; they had been feeling overwhelmed and were did not know what to do.

Leah MacGilp, Mental Health adviser at Edinburgh Napier University said: “Just to say a big thank you for the mats. They arrived safely today and are wonderful.” and sent us these photos of the mats “in situ” (please click the image to see a larger version)

James Moore, Mental Health Advisor at the University of Bradford told us: 
The mats have arrived and they are brilliant! As a result of putting them out over just one weekend I have seen a couple of, at the moment reluctant, male students. But they have come forward and the drink mats have done what they are supposed to do! Thank you!

Steph Langan, Senior Student Wellbeing Adviser, University of Portsmouth added:
Cameron’s Coasters are wonderful and the students love them! Thank you again, they are a great resource for us and we would love some more.

Many thanks to Leticia Salmon for this photo of Cameron’s Coasters in Homerton College, Cambridge
Coasters in The Griffin Bar, Homerton College

Coasters on display in The Griffin Bar, Homerton College

This is a project we have just started in the hope of encouraging people to ask for help rather than suffering in silence as Cameron did. If you know of a community that might benefit from Cameron’s Coasters, then please get in touch on info@camgrant.org.uk.


Many thanks, Evan & Carol

 

 

Galleries of Coasters & Cards

A Gallery showing all of Cameron’s Coasters

A Gallery showing all of Cameron’s Cards

Cameron’s Coasters & Cards in: Universities, Schools, Colleges and in the Workplace