More than half of the people you know prefer to do therapy online instead of in person. How will the Metaverse affect the future of mental health?
During the pandemic, many people felt isolated and overwhelmed by their mental health issues. We will probably continue to feel the psychological effects of the pandemic for a long time.
But new problems lead to new solutions, and the Metaverse could be one of them. Could we soon start using VR technologies to help people recover from emotional and mental issues?
The Prevalence of Mental Health Issues
The global prevalence of mental issues like anxiety, depression, and social phobia has increased by a massive 25%, according to the World Health Organization.
Working online may only increase the sense of isolation and disconnection, but in fact, it can enable us to access better resources and support because we are no longer limited by physical geography.
The Metaverse may enable us to access professional mental health services on a much more global scale.
Accessing Mental Health Professionals Online
It’s estimated that 1 in 8 adults receives mental health treatment on a regular occasion. Only 3% of people receive psychological therapy. The reason for this is the lack of mental health professionals and the inability to access them due to physical limitations.
Visiting a therapist in person can be intimidating and difficult to schedule. On the other hand, conducting therapy online is much more convenient and comfortable for many people because it can be done from the comfort of their homes.
Benefits of Metaverse for Mental Health
Ok, the Metaverse still isn’t a fully realized world. It’s still mainly a concept, but we can’t ignore its potential for everything from entertainment to medical services.
In terms of mental health, the Metaverse can provide a safe and secure platform for people to be able to access mental health professionals more easily, without fear of judgment or stigma.
Let’s look at some of the potential perks of accessing mental health services in the Metaverse:
Increased Access to Mental Health Professionals
For starters, the Metaverse eliminates geographical barriers that often prevent people from accessing care. Also, as more people become accustomed to online communication and virtual environments, they may be more likely to reach out for help when needed.
Creating a Global Community
People tend to bond with others who share similar experiences, which is why the Metaverse can be an invaluable platform for creating a global support community. People can join together in virtual spaces to share their stories and support one another.
Treating Neurological Issues With New Technologies
While research is still being done, virtual reality and augmented reality hold a lot of promise for treating mental issues like eating disorders, PTSD, and phobias. The technology allows people to confront their triggers in controlled conditions and learn coping skills in a safe environment.
Fostering Deeper Connections
Let’s face it, talking to a person on video calls isn’t the same as meeting them in real life. With the Metaverse, though, people can interact with each other using avatars and other tools to create an immersive 3D experience. Research indicates that this can lead to better understanding and more meaningful relationships.
Can We Use the Metaverse to Heal?
As technology advances, so too does its potential for healing. The Metaverse could be an invaluable platform for providing mental health services to those who need them most.
It can increase access, create a global support community, and foster deeper connections. However, as with any technology, it’s important to use caution and ensure that the Metaverse is used ethically.
The potential is there, though, and the Metaverse could be a powerful tool in helping to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health care.