Thursday 28 February 2019

18:30 - 20:00

Moore Auditorium

Men's Mental Health: Panel Discussion

As we continue to raise awareness of male mental health, join us for this panel discussion which centres around the manifestations of mental health and experiences of those on the panel.

The panel will be split into two parts: a one hour discussion, followed by a Q&A session where you get to ask the panellists questions around the topic and their experiences.

The panel

James Sullivan

"I’m a third year psychology student and the Mental Health chair here at Royal Holloway, with a passion for promoting discourse around all areas of mental health. Over the course of the year, I’ve worked to raise awareness of mental health on campus, and campaigned to make the mental health services here as inclusive, sensitive, and efficient as possible.

"My own journey with mental health difficulties dates back to my early adolescence, and is something I still manage on a daily basis. I first began opening up and sharing my experiences in 2015, and I was delighted to see it resonate with my fellow students who were also persevering with their academic work alongside looking to maintain and better their mental health.

"I think it’s incredibly important to talk about my diagnosed condition, schizophrenia, as I feel, still to this day, it is still largely misunderstood and often demonised. Moreover, I believe it is of paramount importance that men are open about their struggles with mental health; no-one is invulnerable to struggling, and open conversations between men discussing mental health is a key step in promoting a culture whereby men can break free of the incredibly harmful “men show no weakness” stereotype."

Evan Grant

"In November 2014 I lost my son Cameron to suicide when he was 21 and in his third year studying Geology at RHUL. He had seemed very happy at RHUL and was planning to do a Master’s. Outwardly he was always smiling and he was always the one who was there to cheer everyone else up. When he died nobody knew he was ill, yet he left us a letter in which he described suffering from depression for over seven years. He did not ask for help. 

"Carol, my wife, Alastair, Cameron's brother, and I set up the Cameron Grant Memorial Trust in Cameron's memory. Our motivation is to do everything we can to prevent others dying as Cameron did and our message is "there is always someone you can talk to." Since Cameron died I have trained as a Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) instructor. I have suffered with depression several times and bring this lived experience to teaching MHFA as well as that of bereavement by suicide.

"Our main project is #CameronsCoasters, customised drink mats which we send to schools, universities, pubs and sports clubs, and other communities to encourage people to speak up and ask for help. We work with each community to put the help information most important for that community on their version of the coaster. To date we have sent out over 540,000 Coasters to 70 universities including RHUL, 19 Cambridge colleges, 11 schools, four GP practices, Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust, Ricoh Arena and Wasps Rugby Club, other local sports clubs, IBM, Paddy Power Betfair, 16 Police federations 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! On #TimeToTalk Day, 7 February 2019, we launched a ten-day mental health awareness campaign in the three McDonald's restaurants in Rugby and a special version of Cameron's Coasters features prominently!"

Albie Amankona

CEO/Co-Founder of Cupe Venture Ltd.

Albie graduated from LSE in 2017 and has gone on to work in the tech industry, most recently creating Cupe Ventures in 2018. After suffering a sports-related hip injury, Albie suffered from a prolonged period of anxiety and depression which he still battles with today. Subsequently, he has become a men's mental health advocate. Albie is particularly interested in the impact of social media and social expectation on young men and how it contributes to mental health problems.