Virtual Reality Has Direct Effect on Mental Wellbeing

Virtual reality is rapidly becoming a tool for mental health wellbeing and stress relief in the workplace.

Gamers have long enjoyed virtual reality (VR) but are not the only sector. In addition,VR enhances cinematic experiences, transports you to stadium sports and music events and all can be viewed from the comfort of your sofa, office or personal space.

Delivered by a virtual reality headset, sound-effects, 360-degree views and razor-sharp graphics immerse the viewer in a ‘new reality’.

Notably, Marriott took the travel industry to new levels back in 2014 when they introduced ‘Vroom service’. Virtual tours of selected hotels using a ‘teleporter’ and headset. The teleporter (custom built cubicle) teased the senses with heat and fans – a clever sunlight and beach-side, breeze effect. Next, a fine water mist provided ‘sea spray’ sensations.

Since then, VR has been developed for medical purposes. When using actual diagnostic images, both surgeon and student can navigate the safest surgical path to plan procedures. Also, stroke victims and those afflicted with brain injury have recovered cognitive function at accelerated rates with the use of VR therapy. Faster responses and higher engagement were noted, compared with traditional methods.

All fantastic uses of the technology, but VR is rapidly being utilised for mental wellbeing.

What our research into wellbeing discovered

Taking part in the local hospice fundraising, as part of Nybble’s CSR, the team were touched by personal accounts. Hearing the bucket-list wishes of families was bittersweet, knowing some were unfulfilled.

One of the biggest challenges of life-limiting illness is not only the effect on the person coping with the terrible news, but also for family and loved ones. It profoundly affects the wellbeing of all concerned.

Sadly, depression and decreasing mental wellbeing is a common problem in the UK. Male depression and workplace mental health problems are on the rise. Conventional treatments are not having the desired impact. Waiting lists are too long.

woman enjoying virtual reality wellbeing session

Could VR compliment traditional GP treatment and perhaps be a preventative force in the workplace?

How VR may increase wellbeing in the workplace & in healthcare

It is difficult to put into words the effect virtual reality can have, how it can lift someone from a dark place and fill them with wonder and a new perspective. We found out the impact when we donated a kit to the East Lancashire hospice.

None of us can pretend to know how it feels to be confined to a bed or know that time with loved ones may be short. Unless you have suffered burn-out in a professional role, it’s hard to empathise. Likewise, if you have never suffered a complete confidence melt-down due to work pressures, you won’t feel moved by the sufferer’s plight. In reality, these situations are many and families across the UK are dealing with depression daily, often in silence and secrecy.

 

VR: expanding horizons of the seriously ill

"They're right in front of me! Oh m goodness!"Patients with life-limiting illnesses will now be able to travel wherever they want from the comfort of their hospice bed…all thanks to Virtual Reality.

Posted by Granada Reports on Monday, 5 November 2018

 

VR  provides a unique personal, user experience. Namely, would-be divers can discover the treasures of the coral reef. Nature lovers can go on safari under the burnt skies of Africa. Adventurers can scale the highest peaks, ski off piste or experience the thrill of a skydive. Music lovers can lie back and watch a philharmonic orchestra perform their favourite concerto, or rock lovers can throw up the horns and relish the riffs.

For a brief time, they can escape the debilitating feelings which overwhelm them.

No drugs required and no extra staff. Just feelings of exhilaration, motivation and being alive.

As the saying goes, “Stop the world I want to get off.” VR can’t stop the world, but with the right software, the world can share her beautiful secrets with you, showcase all the talented performing arts, amazing architecture and exploration of different cultures, creatures and adventures.

With this in mind, the kits are suitable for company wellbeing, hospices, hospitals and counselling sessions. In fact, anywhere endeavouring to help people cope with the pressures of life. As Michelle Bondesio states, “Thriving at work is a KPI.”

Feedback from the hospice

The reaction at the hospice was truly humbling.

Transformative moments were all it took to demonstrate how life-changing this equipment can be.

I can’t believe it, I was there!

Some had tears in their eyes, the experience so immersive and real that a dream had come true.

This is why technology exists. This makes it worthwhile for me to remain in IT. I walked away from people who had felt real joy, at a totally unexpected time in their lives. Ram Gupta – Owner & Director, Nybble.co.uk

Virtual Reality is here to stay and will play an increasing role in our lives. It’s up to us to ensure that we remain innovative and creative, guiding technology to be of the best benefit to all.

 

Jill Wells

If you would like to know more about purchasing a kit for your local hospice, company or hospital please email enquiries@nybble.co.uk.

Leave A Comment