Virtual Reality (VR) is already having a profound impact across the digital sphere – and its application in digital mental health settings is changing the way people access care. 


The conversation around VR use for treating mental ill health has been longstanding but the introduction of modern, home-accessible products like VR headsets has turbo-charged the discourse. VR use in treating phobias and anxiety allows users to encounter their fears in a safe, controlled environment but barriers to accessing this technology remain. Barriers include the high costs of the technology and lack of trust and/or awareness of its benefits for those seeking mental health support.  


As the technology improves and costs for users reduce (as is already happening) it’s hoped that VR moves from being a potential game-changer in the digital mental health domain to a measurable, effective companion to mental healthcare.


A New Zealand-based phobia sufferer recounts how he overcame his phobia using VR, and international researchers discuss the evolution of VR and their hopes for the future. 


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