Escalating mental health crisis in Ukraine
Why is it so urgent to help avert a post-traumatic stress catastrophe in Ukraine? the answer is that already, there are over two million displaced people suffering from post traumatic stress (PTS) there. And over 500,000 of these are severe cases. You can see that as the war drags on this situation is only going to get worse.
What these figures mean in human terms is that 500,000 sufferers are unable to function normally, they will age prematurely, fall sick more often, become unemployable and have difficulties with their nearest and dearest. The net result is this mental suffering adds to the already chaotic conditions created by the Russian invasion.
Meanwhile of course, war conditions render the health system less able to cope with the surge in demand. Apart from the individual human suffering, the ripple effect of this mental health crisis on the rest of the economy and health care services is estimated to be a crippling £12 billion.
A scaleable antidote is needed to avert a post traumatic stress catastrophe in Ukraine
It is understandable then that a recent World Health Organisation (WHO) report asserts that the sheer size of mental health emergencies in war zones requires urgent scaleable interventions for post-traumatic stress1.
For this reason, the Natural Health Research Trust (NHRT) is launching an action research project to demonstrate effective new PTS interventions. The truth is that, if scaled up nation-wide, the methods we want to demonstrate are fully capable of averting this PTS catastrophe and significantly reducing societal stress.
Officially recognised treatments for PTS are too slow and ineffective to avert catastrophe
At the moment, the accepted medical perception is that PTSD is a complex, long-term condition that is difficult to resolve, even by specialist practitioners. But, this idea only arises because the usual treatments are so slow and costly. In fact, very often they only achieve mediocre results anyway. As an example, one research study estimated the cost of a full course of Cognitive Behavioural Treatment (CBT) at about £51,000 over several years2.
Fortunately, this official perception is now way out of date.
Transcendental Meditation is a powerful antidote to PTS
There are several peer reviewed studies that indicate that after a short four day course in TM sufferers experience rapid and sustainable relief from PTS symptoms. Th ereal significance is that twice daily meditation then brings relief from symptoms within days, not the months and years required with other methods.
But that is not all, there is a new and holistic approach to psychotherapy called the human givens approach that also routinely provides fast sustainable relief from PTS symptoms.
Our approach is to commence teatment with a short instruction course in TM and then use the human givens approach to help TM teachers follow-up their teaching programme with supportive coaching and advice. Using this combination, literally means that for a small fraction of the current costs, we can demonstrate an outstanding and cost-effective way to scale-up any national PTS recovery initiative.
Together, this combination of TM and human givens follow-up coaching, if deployed nationally, could relieve Ukraine's looming large-scale mental-health disaster.
The NHRT is setting up a formal demonstration and action research project
This is why, we now seek funding to run a formal demonstration to show how well these methods will work in the field. With this funding we want to show the Ukrainian health authorities how this combined approach is the answer to their burgeoning mental health crisis. A crisis that will otherwise cripple their economy and further damage social cohesion.
For this reason, our parent charity, the Natural Health Research Trust (NHRT) wants to raise £76,500. The goal is to use action research methods to show the Ukrainian health authorities, and the NGO community, the best ways to adopt these approaches across the wider community. Our hope is that a successful demonstration will convince the Ukrainian government to release the resources necessary to treat the 500,000 plus severe sufferers in and so avert the looming catastrophe.
The added benefit of the Maharishi effect
As regular readers will already know, with 500,000 new meditators in Ukraine, the county will achieve the powerful 1% effect or what is otherwise known as the Maharishi effect. I appreciate that new readers may be startled to learn that several studies show that whenever 1% of a community or country learns the Transcendental Meditation technique, then marvellous things start to happen to the rest of the community.
In effect just 1% of the population practicing TM on a daily basis is enough to reduce 'societal stress'.
This fact is evidenced by publically available statistics that show negative social trends reversing. As examples, this means crime rates go down, suicides, accidents and hospitalisations reduce and so on. At the same time economic factors such as employment rates, GDP levels, inflation, business start-ups all start to improve as well.
Bizarre as this concept sounds at first hearing, it is nevertheless true and you can read some of the research in the following links. (See study on Norway and New Zealand) (See also the Rhode Island QOL study.)
But of crucial importance in the context of Ukraine, the Maharishi effect transforms war zones. Unbelievable as it may seem to you now, when the 1% effect kicks in, war deaths drop dramatically, violent hostilities miraculously subside and peaceful solutions emerge. You can read about one instance of this happening in Lebanon during the civil war there.
In plain terms this research project could conceivably stop the war
So, what we are saying in plain terms is that if you support this research project and as a result, we can go ahead and convince the Ukraine government to invest in a roll out of TM to treat 500,000 PTS sufferers, then in all likelyhood peace will break out as a consequence. In essence then, your donation will directly help stop the fighting and end the war.
Help us raise the funds we need
Perhaps by now, you agree that this is a worthwhile and urgent project and one that needs your support.
If you decide to donate, the NHRT commits to use the money raised, to apply these two approaches free of charge to 45 patients over a four-month period. At the same time we will carry out the all-important action research to ensure the speed and effectiveness of the future roll-out. Leading on from that we will develop the actual roll-out plan to teach 500,000 PTS sufferers in Ukraine. Then we will promote the concept to the Ukrainian health authorities so that they see the benefits for themselves of providing these methods nation-wide.
If you would like to help us in any way, you can donate by visiting our Donate Page or contact Jeremy Old who will be delighted to provide more information; email or telephone (44) 1725 551271, 40 Wimborne Saint Giles, Wimborne, Dorset, BH21 5NF UK.
Read testimonials about TM helping PTS sufferers download (2 minute read)
Fact sheet on UKraine PTS project (1 minute read)
- New WHO prevalence estimates of mental disorders in conflict settings: a systematic review and meta-analysis; Fiona Charlson, Mark van Ommeren, Abraham Flaxman, Joseph Cornett, Harvey Whiteford, Shekhar Saxen; Published Online June 11, 2019 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(19)30934-1
- McGowan, I. (2019). The Economic Burden of PTSD; A brief review of salient literature; International Journal of Psychiatry and Mental Health;1(1), 20-26. http://www.raftpubs.com/ijpmh-psychiatry-and-mental health/articles/ijpmh_raft1003.php (Sign in required)