Research from the World Economic Forum (WEF) highlights the metaverse’s potential as a solution to the worldwide mental health crisis. The metaverse, as a virtual community, provides novel opportunities for social interaction that may help alleviate rather than exacerbate mental health problems. Experts are cautiously hopeful about the role of technology-driven mental health infrastructure in the metaverse, despite the spike in demand for mental health services. In this article, we’ll look at the ways in which these developments may improve mental health care.

There was already a global mental health problem before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The current situation, however, has taken the issue to new heights. There is an immediate need for creative solutions because the rising demand for mental health services has outstripped available resources. To counteract this, the United States is thinking about opening up federal payment for tele-mental health treatments.

Through the use of AR/VR tools, the metaverse can provide novel opportunities for social interaction and experience. It’s a virtual space where people can network with one another for both personal and business purposes. According to the WEF research, the development and widespread adoption of the metaverse could be spurred by its use in mental healthcare. Experts in both the mental health field and the IT sector agree that the integration of technology into all aspects of mental health care (from screening to treatment to teaching to research) is essential.

The promise of gaming platforms in mental health therapy has previously been established, with increased patient participation and reduced stigma associated with discussing mental health issues. Anxiety and depression video games have been developed by a number of companies, including DeepWell Therapeutics and Ninja Theory’s Insight Project. These games offer a form of therapy that goes beyond simple amusement by giving players a safe space to talk about and work through personal issues related to their mental health.

Guided meditation and mindfulness practices like TRIPP’s Mindful Metaverse demonstrate the potential of virtual reality in this area. By utilizing VR technology, this software provides users with a tranquil setting in which to meditate and practice mindfulness. Individuals now have easy and entertaining access to stress-reduction and mental health resources because to the incorporation of these methods into the metaverse.

Interface technologies are changing the way people interact with one another and feel in online worlds. Ultrasonic waves can be used by devices like the Emerge Wave 1 to simulate contact, improving the social experience for individuals who are physically separated. Thanks to these developments, people can have a sense of presence and connection even when they are in a virtual setting. In addition, Neurable headsets and other noninvasive neurotechnologies can assess an individual’s emotional state and react accordingly. It is possible that therapeutic neurotechnologies, such as direct brain stimulation, may be combined with these tools to treat clinical depression.

Experts believe that by utilizing the metaverse, both patients and the growth of the virtual environment could reap significant benefits. The metaverse has the potential to serve as a one-stop shop for all facets of mental health care, from education and awareness to treatment and rehabilitation. It’s a meeting place where people can get help and participate in therapeutic activities. Better mental health results are possible thanks to the metaverse’s ability to provide individualized, interactive experiences.

In light of its significance as a threat to public health, the United States Surgeon General has declared war on excessive screen time and social media usage. This call to action is consistent with the ongoing investigation of the metaverse as a possible answer to the critical mental health crisis. The potential for the metaverse to transform mental healthcare by making it more accessible and effective interventions for those in need is a topic of intense interest around the world.

First reported on Business Insider India

Originally published on ReadWrite.