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

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. 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. Cameron’s Coasters are now in use at 37 Universities in many schools and colleges; please see the gallery at the bottom of this article. We have begun to talk to companies about using coasters at desks in the workplace, and in meeting rooms. 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!

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 “general” mat with national contact details for PAPYRUS, Samaritans and Mind, and this can be used anywhere. We will add new images to the gallery below as we produce more of Cameron’s Coasters.

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

 

 

Gallery of Coasters

Scroll down to see all the Coasters