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5 Jan, 2019 11:46

The mental health crisis and hidden history of WW1 (E261)

A new year report suggests the UK government is on course for a cataclysmic failure in the field of mental health. A pledge to increase the number of NHS mental health staff by 21,000 has managed to recruit only 1524. At this rate, the government will miss its target by a staggering 86%. Mental health problems among the homeless and the destitute in the prisons have become a desolation roll affecting millions of people of all kinds and all classes. Not many laughs in that. Yet our first guest is a prominent campaigner in the field whilst building a following as an anarcho-feminist comedienne. Even when living in a desolate squat she still managed to raise a laugh so we invited Samantha Pressdee into the studio to tell us about the mounting mental heath crisis in the UK.

Like the tip of an iceberg, recent commemorations of the end of the First World War have revealed a deep secret about World War I, namely that millions of black and Asian soldiers were in the trenches alongside the British and French allies fighting Germany. Though many were Muslim on the Eastern front against the Ottoman Empire whose caliph has described the struggle as a holy war. It is a remarkable story to a remarkable extent scarcely known. One man trying to change that is Professor Santanu Das of All Souls College, Oxford University, author of two important books on the subject, the first of which was awarded a Philip Leverhulme Prize and the latest is called India, Empire, and First World War Culture: Writings, Images, and Songs. He joined Sputnik to tell us more about this untold history.

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