Veteran’s Oral History Project Event at QUAD in June

22 May 2018

This event has been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances.

As part of QUAD’s current exhibition Mark Neville: Battle Against Stigma, there will be an Oral History Project Event for Veterans on Saturday 9th June.
The Battle Against Stigma exhibition in QUAD Gallery features photographs, films, and emails from former service personnel and a book, also titled Battle Against Stigma, that recounts Mark Neville’s own personal experience when he was sent out to Helmand in 2011 as an official war artist. The exhibition is intended to give some insight into the issue of adjustment disorder and PTSD, which he suffered from on his return to the UK. 
As part of the Battle Against Stigma Project, Mark Neville is collaborating with former RAF Sergeant Sammy Sturgess to reinvigorate discussions about war trauma and its effect on British society. Together they aim to remove the stigma related to mental health issues in the military, and to demand the UK population and government view this issue as a national concern. Compelled by their own experiences of war related mental trauma, Neville and Sturgess intend to collate the experiences of current and former British service personnel and their support networks, to highlight the issues surrounding mental health and military service. The overall objective of the Battle Against Stigma Project is to normalize the discussion of military mental health and to affect improvements in mental health care for veterans.
The Oral History Project Event
on Saturday 9th June will provide a space where veterans and their support networks, can be part of a series of focus groups and offer testimony about their experiences of these combat related mental health issues. It offers the chance to both begin the process of speaking about experiences, and also the opportunity to help shape the future of this project and determine where needs exist, what other type of support is needed and how best to bring about change. The event has been kindly sponsored by Derby and Derbyshire Disabled Soldiers Settlement.
Veterans Oral History Project Event Battle Against Stigma takes place in QUAD, Derby, on Saturday 9th June from 9:15am to 4:15pm
Who can participate?
Anyone who has either directly or indirectly suffered from combat related mental health issues is welcome to participate. This is whether you yourself have served in the military and have subsequently suffered mental health problems, or if you are close to someone that has. Please come prepared to speak about your experiences.
What will participation entail?

The event will take place alongside the exhibition at QUAD, Derby. Throughout the day there will be a series of focus groups designed to help affected individuals begin the process of speaking about their past experiences. These groups will be small (between 6-8 persons) and led by a facilitator. The facilitator is a researcher not a mental health specialist, and these groups are designed to obtain information about participants’ personal experiences of mental health to contribute to the continued development of Battle Against Stigma as a research and advocacy project. There will, however, be access to a mental health specialist at the event should any participants require assistance. These focus groups will be filmed (although you can opt out of the filming if you wish) to help us to document the needs of those that suffer from mental health issues. These will not be publicly shared with anyone without your additional consent. Alongside this, there will be the opportunity for a small number of people to provide an ‘oral history’ account of their experiences. This means that you will be interviewed in detail about your own experience, one-on-one, with an oral history interviewer. This testimony (subject to participant’s consent) will be placed in the Battle Against Stigma archive for posterity.
Why participate?
This event is to give veterans and their support networks the chance to tell their story. We hope that participating in the project will provide a safe space for individuals to speak about their experiences of combat related mental health and help us to continue to develop the project and campaign to end the stigma attached to combat related mental health issues. Participants input will help us to shape the future of this project and determine where our efforts should be focused. The long-term goal of this is to drastically improve provisions for those suffering from combat related mental health problems in the UK. For those taking part in the oral history interviews, this will also allow them to contribute your testimony to an archive that seeks to document this type of experience.
For more information about this event, to sign up to participate, or to express a general interest in the project, please email: battleagainststigma@gmail.com


More information about the exhibition Battle Against Stigma can be found here