By Daniel Freeman and Jason Freeman

March 22, 2017

 

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Few tech topics are hotter right now than virtual reality (VR). Though it’s

been around for decades, VR has at last entered the world of consumer

electronics via devices like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive and, increasingly,

headsets that can be used in conjunction with our mobile phones. But VR

isn’t just a technological game-changer: it could transform the way we

tackle mental health problems.

 

Not so long ago, talking about psychological problems was taboo. Now the

scale of these disorders is no longer a secret. We know, for example, that

one in four people will experience mental health issues at some point in

their life. The ramifications from this ocean of distress aren’t merely

personal; the socio-economic consequences are profound. Nearly half of all

ill health in working age adults in the UK is psychological. Mental illness

costs the UK economy £28 billion every year — and that’s excluding NHS

costs.