BATTLE AGAINST STIGMA
Photo and text book uniquely disseminated, accompanied by an exhibition and film. Exhibited at SK Kultur Cologne and Kunsthalle Nuremberg in 2016
Supported by Mark Neville and the Wellcome Trust
A book, a series of photographs, and portfolios of e-mail responses from veterans to the book
The Battle Against Stigma Book Project aims to challenge the stigma of mental health problems in the military and to encourage attitude change in order to facilitate help seeking at an early stage. The Battle Against Stigma book, co-authored by Neville and veteran mental health expert Jamie Hacker Hughes, is divided into two-volumes. The first volume is the re-telling of Neville’s own personal experience when he was sent out to Helmand in 2011 as an official war artist, and combines his photographs and texts as a means to give some insight into the issue of adjustment disorder which he found he had fallen victim to on his return from the war zone. The second volume is made-up of the written testimonies about PTSD and adjustment disorder from serving and ex-serving soldiers. The book was printed in Spain. Sadly, the first 500 copies of this book were seized at customs by UK Border Force, and have yet to be released. The second consignment of 1,000 copies entered the UK via a different route, thus escaping seizure and arriving safely at Neville’s studio. Neville is currently distributing the surviving 1,000 copies free to Defence Mental Health Services, prison libraries, homeless veterans, probation services, and veteran mental health charities.
Neville wrote an essay on his PTSD, including extracts taken from the book, which appeared in The Independent News Review magazine on 24/5/15, and in which he encouraged veterans to contact him. The response to the newspaper article was staggering with over 1,000 emails sent from veterans, families and friends, organisations (as well as non-veterans) sharing their experiences of suffering from or knowing someone suffering with these conditions, and requesting copies of the book. Together this mass of documentation constitutes a major new and original insight into the experiences of those suffering from mental illness following service in modern warfare.
Are you a former serviceman or woman who feels you may be suffering with adjustment disorder? Please write to me in confidence at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a free copy of Battle Against Stigma.