The building blocks behind Embers have existed in mental health services for years, where practitioners have seen many families’ lives change immeasurably. However, as these interventions are normally delivered face to face, the impacts are made on a very small scale and often fail to reach the families in most need.
Embers is a natural partnership of clinicians who have seen these issues from the frontline of the NHS, educators who have been working in schools and know the value of learning through play, and digital storytellers who have engaged children and families across entertainment and education. Together, we are determined to bring that life-changing support to families everywhere.
Proving EMBERS WORKS
Our 2021 feasibility trial, funded by the National Institute for Health & Care Research, returned extremely positive results. Before interacting with the world of Embers the Dragon, 75% of families scored above clinical thresholds for concern around parental anxiety and child resilience. This reduced to just 2% of families following using our programme.
This put us on a journey to further prove our clinical-foundations via a novel application combining digital & entertainment formats - a first for mental health, this age group and method of delivery. This three year expansion and independent clinical trial of the programme is being carried out by London South Bank University (LSBU).
The study, running between 2023 and 2026, will cover distinct areas of emotional development and well-being and measure the effect by comparing: where Embers is used at home, used at home and at school, and not used at all.
We will evaluate our results across three different methodologies to comprehensively measure its effectiveness. We hope the success of the study will demonstrate the effectiveness of the intervention, its acceptability in real world use and set us up to integrate it within health and educational settings.
The study is being funded by a Invention for Innovation (i4i) Product Development Award (PDA) from the National Institute for Health & Care Research (NIHR), and run by London South Bank University. Recruitment is currently open at the university's trial page.
Embers the Dragon has been designed and produced by a collaboration of clinical, education and creative experts, all specialists in child development. These organisations have come together to pool their experience and resources to develop what they hope will be a truly ground-breaking programme.
Digital Mentality specialise in the development of clinical content for digital platforms. Led by a specialist mental health nurse consultant, they work across all areas of digital therapeutics, from advising production companies, print media and film, through to clinical safety consultation and content development for health apps.
Brickwall is a creative education company. As well as in-house projects such as Embers, they have a long history of developing content, digital solutions, and campaigns for organisations such as the BBC, NHS, Public Health England and the NSPCC. They are responsible for bringing the world of Embers to life through animation, video and design, as well as providing scalability through integration with digital solutions.
The National Institute for Health & Care Research (NIHR) is the nation's largest funder of health and care research and provide the people, facilities, and technology that enable research to thrive. We have been funded through the NIHR i4i Connect program and the views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care.
We are supported in our research by the London South Bank University Faculty of Applied Sciences and Health and Social Care. London South Bank's mission is to transform lives, communities, businesses and society and are a leading centre for research in London for nursing, midwifery, allied health professions, public health and social care