Stories of Asylum From WW1

Stories of Asylum – Discover the history, stories and research archives in an innovative Online Research Exhibition exploring the history of mental health care in Portsmouth.

Over 500 people visited ‘Stories of Asylum’ exhibition during the Gosport Heritage Open Days in September. This free event, held over 5 days, showcased two research projects by the Good Mental Health Cooperative, exploring the history of mental health care in Hampshire and the personal experiences of patients, staff and the community throughout this time.

Both projects have produced a wealth of research material, images and creative work that you can now enjoy online for free! ‘Stories of Asylum’ online exhibition includes a virtual research archive, Heritage webinars, downloadable pamphlet and unique postcard packs!

Visit the online exhibition HERE

Uncovering this social history of mental health care in Portsmouth and the surrounding area during the Great War 1914-18, was funded by Heritage Lottery and delivered by the Good Mental Health Cooperative.

The Good Mental Health Cooperative started this research project in 2020 with a group of volunteers who all had their own individual connections to the Portsmouth area and a varied interest into the history of local mental health care. The stories uncovered are about patients, hospital staff, the differences between private and pauper treatment and the changing attitudes towards mental health care during WW1. The project also researched pivotal moments such as when Portsmouth Mental Hospital was requisitioned by the American Armed Forces and how this impacted patients and the wider community. With this project, the Good Mental Health Cooperative and volunteer research group hoped to explore the stories of mental anguish suffered by so many men and women during the Great War and the wide reaching psychological effects of living through such a challenging time in history.

For more information visit –

Did you find this resource useful?

As a registered charity we are only able to continue to provide the information and resources found on this site if we continue to receive charitable donations and grants. If you found this resource useful, then please consider donating.