Pixvana, a VR solutions provider, has announced a partnership with Limbix, a company using immersive VR in healthcare, to develop interactive VR therapy to help adolescents understand and cope with anxiety and depression.
The solution aims to help teens understand how their brain functions and how thoughts and feelings develop, allowing them to perceive their power over these thoughts and can change how they think and feel.
To achieve this, Pixvana, Limibix, Stony Brook University and Harvard researchers have teamed up to develop VR scenes that support Growth Mindset Training, a process that understands anyone can develop their abilities and intelligence, according to the company. The scenes use a classroom setting to depict gender and age appropriate situations to tell an interactive story "in a very practical way, while making them feel comfortable, safe and in control of their environment".
"The use of VR as a medium can quickly put adolescents in familiar classroom settings, or immerse them in real-life scenarios, engaging them in a very meaningful, safe and lasting way," said Pixvana COO Rachel Lanham. "It's an immersive and stimulating learning experience, and highly effective at communicating important messages and coping strategies.
"We hope this project can make a difference among teens by using technology to help break down stigmas that may exist about depression," she added.
Poor mental health among teenagers in the US is on the rise, as an estimated 3.1 million adolescents aged 12–17 had at least one major depressive episode in 2016.