Mental Healthcare and VR

There’s a big problem that not many people may know about right now. That’s the fact that there’s a real shortage of mental healthcare professionals in the world. This shortage just so happens to be coming at the same exact time as the need for such professionals is growing. That means that things aren’t looking great for mental health, but there are people doing things to solve the problem. The lack of professionals is being shored up by virtual appointments that let many more people seek out the care they need. Healthcare IT News recently releases an article on the new way of seeing mental healthcare patients and this is what they have to say about it.

Telehealth makes a difference

Speaking to Risa Weisberg, the Chief Clinical Officer at BehaVR had this to say about telehealth: “Telehealth can remove potential access barriers for patients such as geographic location or transportation to an appointment. As such, telehealth can often make it easier to find a therapist, as any therapist licensed in the state in which the patient lives may now be a potential fit. Further, it can increase access for patients with busy schedules, who may have time for a 50-minute appointment, but not for travel to and from a therapist’s office, and for patients with mobility difficulties.”

VR tech and healthcare

Going beyond simple telehealth over the phone, VR tech is being used to carry out appointments with doctors and other providers. Virtual reality replaces your sensory input, creating an immersive experience that the brain processes more like a completely new reality. It’s as if whatever you’re seeing and hearing is actually happening to you. This level of engagement means that the experiences in VR are processed by your brain in much the same way that actual experiences are.

VR can be an alternative to drugs

First, it’s important to note that virtual reality will never completely replace drugs or in-person therapy. There are usually cases that may require pharmacological interventions and/or traditional in-office psychotherapy. However, for some individuals and some behavioral health indications, VR interventions may prove to be equally robust treatment options. One such area is that of pain care. VR interventions can be effective in addressing and reducing pain, both as a stand-alone solution and as a supplement to physical therapy and other methods for treating pain.

It’s one solution to a big problem

Using VR for mental healthcare treatment is a very positive solution to the problem of fewer providers being around, but it’s only one solution. Completely fixing the problem will require a lot more engagement and an influx of mental health doctors to fill in the gaps. Until that happens, VR will be right here to give you access to the healthcare that you need. If you feel that meeting in person is impossible, then seeking out a digital appointment may be exactly what you need. It’s the best solution that we have and it’s helping many people across the planet.