HEALTH

Utah veteran uses virtual reality to help others combat PTSD 

Nov 12, 2021, 1:32 PM
virtual reality...
Stock image of virtual reality glasses. Photo credit: Canva

AMERICAN FORK, Utah — Bric Simpson is using virtual reality (VR) headsets to help alleviate the symptoms of PTSD for his fellow veterans. 

It’s the work done by Forge Forward Project, a veteran-owned and operated nonprofit. It focuses on bringing doctors, therapists and fellow veterans together in a free virtual reality experience. 

Founded by Simpson, he said that with the help of VR a vet can immediately transport out of a stressful episode into a more calming and tranquil environment.

Through the use of VR, a veteran can consult mental health experts. And they can talk to their peers or play video games to calm their nerves.  

“The research that we are basing this on shows that just putting veterans in a virtual reality environment actually mitigated those stress responses to their brain by 56 to 90%.” 

He said VR makes it much easier for veterans to connect. And that’s true whether they are across the country from each other, or across the globe.  

“This not only has real healing aspects as far as physiological response goes, Or connecting to other health care professionals. It becomes peer to peer as well.”

The Forge Forward Project reports that 82% of American veterans report symptoms of PTSD. While they can vary widely, some of the common symptoms reported by veterans include recurring distressing memories, repeated dreams, flashbacks, and intense distress when exposed to reminders of the trauma.  

For more information on the Forge Forward Project,  visit their website here.

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