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Pub snack launch aims to combat mental health silence as 63% of Aberdeen pretend “they are okay”


NEW research commissioned by Beavertown Brewery has revealed that over half (63%) of adults in Aberdeen have pretended to be ‘okay’ to avoid talking about their own mental health, as 63% of them feel there is still a stigma around it in today’s society.

To tackle this, Beavertown Brewery has joined forces with suicide prevention charity Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) to introduce limited-edition crisps called ‘Open Up’. The new Cheddar & Jalapeño-flavoured crisps come packed with emotive questions and prompts printed on the interior of the packets, to encourage people to open up about how they’re really feeling.

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These questions, designed by CALM, include the likes of “What gets you through tough times?” and “If you could give your younger self advice, what would it be?” to kickstart deeper conversations amongst friends, as the research revealed that nearly half (44%) of those residing in Aberdeen have said that they wouldn’t know how to start a conversation with friends about their mental health.

Supporting the ‘Open Up’ campaign is English actor and comedian Tom Davis, who has openly documented his struggles with mental health.

“We often shy away from getting deep and opening up with our loved ones about what’s going on in our lives, masking it with comedy — something I’ve done many times,” said Tom Davis.

“These crisps give you that natural invitation to start sharing in a laid-back way, right there at the pub, which is the perfect place to do so if you ask me. The only downside is you do have to share your crisps, which I am fundamentally against, but you can always just get another bag.”

The study, which polled 2,000 people, went on to show that over a quarter of adults in Aberdeen (37%) admit feeling awkward about sharing personal issues, and that 52% of them would be more likely to open up to someone who had opened up to them first.

The packets will be given out for free at participating Young’s pubs and independent venues across the UK throughout April, as the study found that pubs can provide a safe space for these conversations, with nearly a quarter of adults in Aberdeen (20%) saying that they feel more at ease opening up in a pub or over a drink.

Tom Rainsford, Beavertown Brewery’s Marketing Director, said: “Pubs are a place where we can come together with our mates to catch up and chat, but that doesn’t mean we always feel able to be honest about how we really feel.”

“Our research shows that nearly half of us don’t know how to start a conversation about mental health with our friends. We hope our Open Up crisps, created in partnership with CALM, will give people an opportunity to have an open chat with their friends. Head to your nearest participating pub, grab a bag and have that decent chat with a mate. ”

Simon Gunning, CEO of the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), said: “Our partnership with Beavertown is about finding ways to help us all feel more connected. And while there are things in life that can feel awkward to share – even with our best mates, crisps definitely aren’t one of them.

With conversation starters inside, these Open Up crisps will help you share more than a tasty snack. Checking in with your mate is one of the most important things you can do – it’s not always obvious if someone is struggling, so together we’re finding ways to make important conversations part of our routine”.

This comes as part of Beavertown’s wider partnership with CALM which aims to create moments that bring people together and make life feel worth living as part of their campaign ‘We Are Not Alone’.

The vegan Cheddar & Jalapeño flavour pairs perfectly with Beavertown Brewery’s Neck Oil Session IPA and Alcohol-Free IPA Lazer Crush, but can also be enjoyed with any alcohol-free beverage, or on its own.

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