VR to Cope with Mental Health Issues

by Guy Frum

American Schools Use VR to Cope with Mental Health Issues

No matter where your school is located, the last one-and-a-half years have been about as bizarre as most of us will see in our entire lives.
The COVID-19 pandemic erupted in March 2020 and shut down schools around the world for the rest of the semester, and in many cases, the entire calendar year.
As the Delta Variant rages across most of the world, schools are slowly trying to get back to some degree of normalcy for both teachers and students.
Stress in school is nothing new for either group, and the weight of trying to do your job, learn your lessons, and engage in some form of normalcy while still masked up, socially distanced, and unable to give hugs and high fives is a bitter pill to swallow.
Mental stress affects all ages and can create long-term damage without the recipient being aware of what’s going on for weeks, months, or even years.In the US, where 37.8 million people have tested positive for COVID-19 and 628,000 have died as of 23 August, a virtual reality (VR) company is playing a role in helping school kids and their educators step away for a few moments a day to destress and recenter. 

A Deep Breath of Healium

The company’s name is Healium, and its ambition is to give students and educators a safe place to “recharge, regain focus, and calm down.”
Students are using it before tests, in the classroom, and under the supervision of school counselors as well.
Using VR headsets, anyone can enter what Healium calls a “virtual reality story” designed to draw out relaxation from even the most stressful of minds.
The scenes inside the goggles are based in nature and designed to enhance peaceful relaxation.
The headset is portable and stands alone; it does not need a computer, an Internet connection, or even a power source to function.

It is not known to be addictive and creates scenes such as the ‘glow reef’ which immerses the user in an underwater scene of gorgeous coral reefs, calming music, and the occasional whale slowly swimming by to say hello.It is not merely for use by students, however. Teachers and staff are subject to more than their fair share of mental fatigue, a lack of focus, and burnout over the course of a typical day, week, and month in the education environment. 

Keep it Clean

Clearly aware of the current environment at schools, Healium’s unit comes with its own patented disinfectant system - Cleanbox.
This eco-friendly decontamination system is designed to use UVC wavelength light to kill bacteria, viruses, fungi, and COVID-19 in 60 seconds with a success rate of 99.999%.
The Healium VR headsets can be sterilized via Cleanbox so they can be used frequently throughout the day by different teachers, staff, and students.