Augmented reality is a very promising way to address the growing mental health problems among teenage youths. It might just be something teenagers need in order to handle those feelings of anxiety and stress during these days and times.
The COVID-19 pandemic has left the entire population a little cranky and hard to deal with. We have raised a generation with social media communication and are now dealing with the stress and illness that has been brought about by the whole global health crisis. Of course, there are obviously many significant changes that are happening in today's culture, many of which are affecting family members' mental health.
Can Augmented Reality Help Treat Anxiety?
Generalized anxiety disorder is the most common anxiety disorder among teens and teens. The effects can be very detrimental to kids as young as six. ADHD is typically diagnosed between ages eleven and fifteen years old. As per the current statistics of the NIH, around 31.9% of American teenagers and up to 20% of young adults in America experience anxiety.
Although not as serious as asthma, there are even some studies that say that children who suffer from anxiety are more vulnerable to other mental health issues than other teenagers.
In graduate school at the University of South Australia, researchers are researching the use of augmented reality to deliver rational behavioral interventions (CBT). It is a short-term psycho-social intervention that is effective for treating an array of mental-health problems, including anxiety, depression, and eating disorders. Through task-based processes, Children's behavioral therapy empowers kids to identify and cope with the symptoms anxiety.
The paper that you can also read is: Oxford VR White Paper Shows the Effectiveness of Gamified VR Therapy in Mental Health Treatment.
The team of researchers is comparing two distinct groups of teenagers. We have provided one group a CBT app with AR content, and the other group uses a paper-based CBT program. Although the other group only has the text-based self-help app, the other group does not include the AR content.
The research team, based on their pilot study, is very hopeful about the results. For instance, the AR success has shown that it can assist kids to learn how to use their asthma inhalers correctly.
Digital Mental Health Solutions Strengthens the Mental Health Professionals.
CBT is eight times more effective compared to other types of psychological therapies. Since they cause these disorders, some teenagers, despite the benefits, will not seek treatment (for them). Some people avoid these medications as an example of mental health stigma. Some patients might want to seek treatment, but they do not have the resources to do so.
Unlike virtual reality, it does not require any expensive tech. It is more accessible to use. You don't need a special headgear to make use of AR. There are many AR apps available that allow you to access programs and apps to your heart's content.
According to lead researcher Kelsey Sharrad, a majority of the younger crowd is more receptive to interactive technology such as augmented reality. Many teenagers heavily depend on the internet for information. As a whole, some people are more comfortable using self-help when confronting their mental health problems. CBT, which is an AR-enabled treatment, is therefore a good mental health solution for this generation of teens.
This policy aids many teenagers by making technologies that don't talk about in public schools (namely, cell phones, MP3 players, and video games) accessible to them.
Besides the more accessibility and versatility that apps offer, they empower the youth into taking the health of their mental well-being into their own hands.
Sharrad said cognitive-behavioral therapy is inherently a person-centered approach to therapy. With the help of Augmented Reality, they are simply magnifying the appeal and personal experience.