This coming Mental Health Awareness Week there is a performance of the critically acclaimed play, Shell Shock – based on Iraq veteran, Neil Blower’s book of the same name at the National Army Museum.
For anyone who is not familiar with the project, Shell Shock is primarily about education, information (pathways to care) and reducing this downstream impact – it is certainly recognised, but not effectively actioned that this early intervention in terms of educational outreach to challenge stigma and reduce barriers to care will have a direct impact on downstream resources, finances, treatment etc and therefore a positive impact on service charities and the NHS and other partners. In terms of impact on the military “machine” who struggle to present these topics it can also be identified as something which could be utilised in a positive way for welfare training, to build resilience thus helping to increase or retain operational effectiveness which could be compromised by issues such as anxiety, stress, alcohol abuse etc. With the impact of live theatre, the audience is engaged and empathises with the character and takes away something far more special and with lasting impressions. It challenges and has the power to change culture.
Mental Health Awareness Week performances:
London – National Army Museum, Thursday 16th May
Shell Shock is proud to announce this performance in London in collaboration with the National Army Museum will be followed by a panel Q&A session. This will be open to all and is an excellent way to discuss the issues seen in the play and engage with industry professionals about barriers to care, myths associated with mental health and what research and support services are available to serving, reservist, veterans and the wider community. There will also be some organisations in attendance and provides an excellent opportunity to network. The post-performance panel will include Sir Simon Wessely, King’s College London (Co-Director, King’s Centre for Military Health Research), Wing Commander rtd Dr Walter Busuttil, Combat Stress Medical Director and Consultant Psychiatrist, Dr Jonathan Leach, NHS England Medical Director for Military and Veterans Health and Warrant Officer Gavin Paton, Army Sergeant Major, British Army.
Shell Shock is also pleased to be presenting at the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine this autumn as part of the military GPs training and will be shortly finalising the details regarding a large collaborative project with our NHS Armed Forces Network partners to secure funding to take this on a nationwide tour across public and military venues over 2020/2021 followed by a full evaluation for stakeholders.
As you will be fully aware, with over 6.0 million veterans in the UK and a multitude of service charities out there, sometimes knowing the right person to speak to is the most important part concerning pathways to care. Correct communication about these pathways, support services or just talking about any concerns is paramount in challenging the stigma associated with all types of mental health. Through this project Shell Shock invites and works with local service charities, as well as public bodies to reinforce and promote the correct outreach locally.
For more information on this project please see http://www.shellshock.org.uk/