Simon Wallace, Communities & Social Inclusion Manager at Southend-on-Sea Borough Council was kind enough to send me the following review of the talk and recommendation to anyone who might book me in the future.
Suzie’s talk “Shell Shocked Britain” proved a fitting finale for the current series of talks entitled “Remembering the Great War” held at The Forum Southend (www.theforumsouthend.co.uk)
Her talk sensitively introduced the subject, and neatly showed the new and devastating impact of “total war” and the impact on many people’s mental health and wellbeing – either serving in the trenches or on the home front. The mental health legacy resulting from this conflict was clearly illustrated through moving personal stories from her own family history and from graphic local newspaper accounts at the time.
Suzie also looked at how treatments and “cures” were sought, as she examined the rise of Spiritualism after the Great War and as surviving soldiers, families and widows sought to find ways of coping with stress, a profound sense of loss and the death of loved ones or fallen comrades.
Her talk tackles a difficult subject area and the enduring stigma and media stereotyping still associated with mental health, breakdown and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) .This was in part reflected in the lively post-talk Q& A session and the large number of questions for our guest speaker.
If you want an engaging and informed speaker, who has sought out and highlighted a little understood, but important aspect of the Great War, I’d recommend Suzie Grogan - and her book is rather good too! (insert book details)
Many thanks Simon. I really appreciated the support you and your team gave me on the night and would love to come back East again soon!