Veterans, as well as being affected by more well known mental health experiences, can often have a scepticism of civilian support which impacts how/if/when they may ask for support.
What this project did is invite a group of veterans together to make a booklet by veterans for veterans about mental health; stories, tips, ideas, and people to speak to. It was key the book was made by the same community it is aimed at, keeping the same language, humour and references. Mental health doesn't need to be a big issue, and by listening to the voices of our own communities, we normalise it, and chip away at the perception it has to be a cold, medicalised, scary thing.
1000 copies of the booklet have now been printed and are being distributed to people and organisations selected by the authors. The aim of the book is to encourage veterans who feel unable to seek support to do so.
Thanks to the Veterans Change Partnership, CoLab and Cornwall College for making this possible.
If you have read the book, you can give feedback here.
"The project was great in getting myself and fellow veterans to talk about our mental health issues and also to understand that you are not alone. Also finding and learning new ways to manage and cope with my illness. It was great to talk with likeminded people, learn new techniques and create new friends and support network. Also the feeling of achievement by creating a book that will hopefully help other veterans." Participant