Virtual Reality for mental health support
We have looked at general trends and insights about virtual reality earlier this month, so now I would like to narrow down the practical use of this new, still fast-growing technology, for mental health support. Virtual Reality therapy is still relatively new, but it is already available in Bristol (at Oasis Counselling Service via Oxford VR lab). ProReal software is used by NHS and various businesses too, it is also used for young people’s support at OTR Bristol. It is a very new area of therapy and coaching, so today I would like to look at some examples of its practical application.
First of all, VR can be used to express complex feelings associated with mental health problems. Here is a story of Danika:
Here is a virtual reality visualisation of bipolar disorder:
So we can use VR to visualise complex mental states, raise awareness and compassion towards people suffering from those challenges. However, we can also conduct active therapy in VR too. Here is an example:
Here in the UK Global Digital Exemplar is an example of fantastic collaboration on the topic:
On the other side of the pond, Matt Vogl explains how at the National Mental Health Innovation Center use VR in prisons, hospice centers, and children’s hospitals:
Here is an interesting video about VR exposure therapy:
VR for therapy is not new. Oxford University researchers looked at this topic already in 2016:
But as we start to use VR for therapy, the innovation continues. The future of mental health support is rich and full of new discoveries, so it’s worth following the upcoming trends:
We will focus on a specific use of ProReal VR software next, but I would to encourage you all to study the insights on the topic – because it might seem new, but it is already quite rich in developments and case studies.