An insightful program on BBC Radio Wales investigated the significance of mental health and the different technological approaches to it. Michelle Tomos, on a personal search to better understand mental wellbeing, examined the potential alternative solutions to traditional mental health approaches. The program featured Rescape’s Kev Moss, who gave an insight into the work the company has been doing to develop virtual reality solutions to mental health problems.
From staff, to patients in hospital, to those suffering with PTSD, VR has shown major effects as a mental health tool. Its ability to relax and distract means it is on its way to being regarded as not only a form of entertainment, but a genuinely useful tool in healthcare.
“The brain is preoccupied for short amount of time – giving the mind and body a short window to recover from stress”.
As well as a distraction tool, VR has been used in helping patients with PTSD to process their trauma. For people like Matt Neave, living with the problem is challenging and there is no known ‘cure’ as such. But persevering with VR therapy allowed him to process his stress and was overall helpful to his mental health. Among the reasons that VR was valuable to him, he acknowledged community through gaming as an extremely effective stress reliever.
The prospect of community though VR further demonstrates its potential to bring happiness and reduce stress – especially for those who have struggled with their mental health.