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BBC Asks If VR Can Help Us Understand Mental Health With New Video

We’ve already seen many companies make the move to help us understand and treat mental health conditions. Samsung are trying to develop a virtual reality (VR) system that can help with mental health, and Emteq believe that VR can help people with mental health conditions without the aid of medication or drugs. Now, even the BBC are looking into how VR can be used to help us understand people with mental health conditions.

In a video the BBC released on their Twitter page, they show a number of people using HTC Vive head-mounted displays (HMDs) and motion controllers to create their own head spaces, allowing people to step inside and try to understand what it’s like to suffer from mental health conditions.

The people in the video share stories of their experience, highlighting the unseen difficulties people with mental health conditions go through. Katy has borderline personality disorder, and explains how the voice in her head seemed very much like real voices she would hear. She explains; “I never really understood that I was hearing voices, because I’ve had it for most of my life. I used to think that they were actually happening.”

James shares his experience with anorexia and bulimia, and uses the HTC Vive motion controllers to create a virtual cocoon, symbolising how he shut himself off from the world around him and felt isolated during his experience.

Danika also shares he experience with psychotic depression, which left her with psycho-somatic physical symptoms. Her psychosis made her believe she was physically unwell, including pain and symptoms, which were all in her head.

Using mixed reality (MR) two documentaries are being built to help understand mental health, and show a new way to share the experiences that people with mental health conditions suffer through.

The video is embedded above, showing the creations the participants made in the virtual space while they talk about their experiences. It’s a heartfelt video, showing that some people with serious illnesses often go without showing any physical signs of distress.

For more on the ways VR can be used for health and education, make sure to keep reading VRFocus.