Nina Salomons explains why she created a company that wants to enable people to perform therapy in virtual reality.
While the world appears to be recovering, it is clear that we have experienced some kind of “collective trauma”. Due to global actions, face-to-face meetings are no longer possible, so we used online solutions like Zoom, WhatsApp or other messaging apps.
For those struggling with loneliness, isolation, or mental health issues, these apps might have helped a bit. However, when it comes to teletherapies with mental health professionals, the situation may already have gotten worse, as UK charity Mind confirmed:
“Among young people who received mental health support by phone or online during the pandemic, nearly a third (32%) said telemedicine made their mental health worse.”
mental health solutions
Is there any solution? The answer may lie in video games, the Metaverse, and virtual reality (VR). Because some video games are really immersive 3D environments. If you now add a VR headset, you are more present in the virtual space. Your brain tricks you into thinking that you are in a different physical environment, when in reality you are sitting at home in your living room.
This immersion and presence makes the overall experience more interactive because you really feel like you’re in another world. It is precisely that kind of immersion and level of presence that makes VR so interesting for healthcare.
Mental health and virtual reality
“Virtual reality can facilitate access to inner reality,” says Brennan Spiegel, Director of Health Services Research. Virtual reality is far away. More than just a new one treatment method. is a new one treatment model. “
One of the reasons VR is so effective is that clients are more focused, less distracted, and experience the world from a first-person perspective. This creates a lot more engagement than watching a video.
Over five thousand studies show that virtual reality has an amazing ability to relieve pain, calm nerves, and enhance mental health. It is so effective that it can reduce mental symptoms and stress hormones for up to 12 months after treatment. And all this without drugs and their unwanted side effects.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental health problems (particularly depression) will be the leading cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide by 2030. The pandemic has already deteriorated our mental health, especially among young people. New solutions are now required.
Virtual Reality Possibilities
“With that in mind, I founded my VR startup anomyXR. We want to use the possibilities of virtual reality to do something about the mental health problems that more and more people are experiencing. Using virtual reality makes treatments a bit more fun and “cooler”. And using our tool, one Remote therapy via a VR headset possible. This means that all the hours I’ve spent playing online games during the pandemic have actually been beneficial. Because we believe you have learned how to communicate with others in a safe virtual space.”
Unpleasant phone calls could soon become a thing of the past thanks to immersion in virtual reality. Would you like to have a treatment session with a certified therapist in the comfort of your own home? All you need is a VR headset and WiFi. In this way, the anomie can become a good tool that makes it easier for clients to open up and communicate with the therapist.
NFTs on the blockchain
Co-founder Liam McKell and I have worked with immersive media for a number of years. It is therefore not surprising to us that with the emergence of so many metaverses, NFTs are also becoming more and more popular. Because Liam is a 3D artist and started converting his 3D digital artwork into NFTs. But what exactly distinguishes these 3D NFT digital artwork from standard 3D digital artwork? Well, it’s very simple. By connecting 3D artwork to the blockchain, transactions can be tracked. To achieve this, Liam had to “scout” his 3D artwork.
This “coinage” describes the process of converting a digital file into a collectible digital asset or digital currency on the Ethereum blockchain. The digital object or file is permanently stored in a decentralized database and cannot be edited, changed or deleted. And all this is completely transparent and understandable.
William and I realized that through anomie, clients learn to express themselves through immersive tools, allowing them to share their stories with a therapist or coach.
AnomieXR is now working with a total of six VR artists to raise capital for the company. Charities and independent game developers use NFTs like any other crowdfunding platform to raise capital for their projects and games. Why isn’t it so for virtual reality?
Each VR artist has created a specific work that focuses on the theme of “Transitioning from Negative Mindset to Positive Mindset.” This is exactly what AnomieXR is focused on. The auction was held live at Microsoft’s Metaverse AltspaceVR on March 11, 2022 at 20:00 GMT.
The first auction is being held in association with Durk van der Meer, Rosie Summers, Natasha Murray, Kayleigh Eliza, R00T and Brenda Chen. All artists believe in the mission of AnomieXR to reshape the future of treatments. More than half of the money raised will be used by VR artists, with the rest going to develop an AnomieXR software tool.
Mental health: the future
In the future, AnomieXR plans to create pop-up stores in several metaverses for users who already own a VR headset. We hope for a successful auction to support participating artists and bring the VR therapy platform to life.
Collectors who wish to bid on VR artworks by artists can do so on the NFT Rarible platform. Each work will be published during the opening event and can then be purchased with ETH. AnomieXR supporters who do not wish to purchase NFTs can also support the project by purchasing Anomie tokens or making a donation on Patreon.
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