Although about 5% of the world's population suffer from nightmares (a disturbing dream that wakes you up), for those who have experienced psychological trauma, this can be as high as 90%. This includes military and ex-military, emergency services, prison officers, abuse victims, assault victims, accident victims, refugees, those caught up in natural disasters.....the list is endless. Although nightmares can go away on their own, they can also last for years and years, leaving people exhausted, bed partners battered, and have a major impact on physical and mental health. Stress during the day also makes nightmares more severe, creating a downwards spiral of despair that can make PTSD harder to deal with. The only current solution is therapy, and this depends on finding a therapist who can deal with nightmares, and there aren't many of them!
After a US military psychologist introduced me to the 'Planned Dream Intervention' approach to stopping nightmares, I spent 4 years developing and evaluating its effectiveness as part of a self-funded PhD at the Anglia Ruskin University, which was approved by the Help for Heroes Research Committee. This involved teaching the approach to UK veterans suffering from PTSD nightmares in a single 2 hour group session. Of the 62 veterans who learnt the skill, half of them improved by over 50% , which resulted in fewer nightmares, more sleep and, the most significant part, fewer PTSD symptoms. This means that their was a 50% reduction in their PTSD after attending a single 2 hour group session and putting the ideas into practice, and furthermore, 1 in 3 no longer met the criteria for PTSD afterwards as well! Force TV also ran a news clip last year which has further testimonials in it http://www.forces.net/news/tri-service/new-treatment-hoping-end-ptsd-nightmares.
This approach can be taught in groups or face-to-face in 1:1 therapy which I am now doing with great success, and involves the NHS, veteran charities and many other organisations.
HOWEVER, the aim of this crowdfunding is to make this available to all, at no cost, in the comfort of their own home, and although I have a teaching video on youtube https://youtu.be/u_XKTtJfKNc that lasts over an hour, whiteboard animations are the answer to teaching this method quickly and efficiently. Using cartoons with voiceover will enable this process to be reduced to less than 10 minutes.
Wrap this around an easy-to-use website with video case studies, testimonials and a user forum, and this really could change the lives of thousands of people in the UK and abroad. I plan to make this always available at no cost and believe the impact could be enormous. Even changing one person's life has got to be worth it - have a look at the BBC news clip to hear from 'Peter' if you haven't already. And there are thousands more who can be helped - you can be a part of making it happen!
I do not want to apply for grants that generate bureaucracy and constrain outcomes. I am working with web design and animation companies in Gloucestershire, and £10k will get the project started and create the first animation video, though £25k is required in total to complete the project.
Anyone who donates will be included on the 'Hall of Fame' web page if they wish. Thank you for your time, and if you have any ideas to improve my crowdfunding efforts, or would like to help 'road test' the animations and website, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.