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NewPathVR Recognizes National Mental Health Awareness Month

Life With a Mental Illness Theme Highlights Importance of Speaking Up, Sharing What Mental Health Feels like with a #30DaysofMentalHealth #vrpsychology Campaign

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, May 1, 2018 —When mental illnesses or disorders are talked about, the language typically used to describe them tends to be clinical and impersonal. These words, while useful for doctors or clinicians, often don’t do justice to what life with a mental illness feels like. That is why this year’s theme for May is Mental Health Month—Life With a Mental Illness—is a call to action to share what life with a mental illness feels like to someone going through it.

Mental Health Awareness Month was started in the United States in 1949 by the Mental Health America organization (then known as the National Association for Mental Health). This year, we are building off of the Mental Health America message and encouraging individuals to give voice to what it really means to live at stages 1, 2, 3, and 4 of mental illness. Life with a mental illness is meant to help remove the shame and stigma of speaking out so that more people can be comfortable coming out of the shadows and seeking the help they need. “Mental illnesses are common and better treatable with transformative technologies and new therapies such as virtual reality,” said Lisa Padilla, CEO of NewPathVR. “Sharing and education are keys to breaking down the stigma surrounding mental illnesses and to showing others that they are not alone in their feelings and their symptoms.”

This Mental Health Month, we are encouraging people to speak up through words, stories, and artistic expression about how it feels to live with a mental illness by tagging social media posts with #30DaysofMentalHeath and #vrpsychology. Posting with our hashtag is a way to speak up, to share your point of view with people who may be struggling to explain what they are going through—and help others figure out if they too are showing signs of a mental illness.

NewPathVR will be creating emotional expression pieces through art throughout the month which can be followed on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/newpathvrinc. We will be using Google Tilt Brush to perform a bodymapping art therapy exercise to express and identify emotions. 

One day, there may be virtual reality software available specifically for certain art therapy exercises, like bodymapping. Sarah Ticho is working on one such application. "Bodymapping has been an undervalued method for exploring human stories for some time, I am excited that say that we are developing a Hatsumi, a body mapping platform with additional features to enhance user experience and provide psychological safety. Hatsumi is receiving additional support from experts in the field of bodymapping and the Stanford Virtual Reality Immersive Technology Lab, where it will undergo early trials with patients at the end of this month. The application is designed for behavioral healthcare providers to integrate into existing therapies, and eventually for public use and academic research exploring the phenomenology of human experience." Presently, Google's Tilt Brush offers a wide variety of brushes and textures to paint and sculpt with for advanced artists and beginners. You can take a look at this month's bodymapping examples created in Tilt Brush on the Facebook timeline facebook.com/lisapadilla.

Speaking out about what mental illness feels like can encourage others to recognize symptoms early on in the disease process, and empower individuals to be agents in their own recovery. “Prevention, early identification, intervention, and integrated services work,” concluded Dr. Michelle Wang, NewPathVR's Chief Psychology Officer, “are all powerful tools in fighting behavioral conditions that affect so many of us. Telling people how life with a mental illness feels helps build support from friends and family, reduces stigma and discrimination, and is crucial to recovery.”

About NewPathVR

NewPathVR is the creator of personal development and emotional intelligence applications in virtual reality. The company uses research-based methods from its proprietary Active PsychologyTM library to create wellness applications for VR with the goal of evoking positive change through conscious technology. We also teach accredited courses in VR Psychology and power the world’s first VR wellness portal — RenewVR.com.


Ashild Fossum
Marketing and PR
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1390 Market Street #2710
San Francisco, CA 94102


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Read 4671 times Last modified on Monday, 21 January 2019 21:08