Virtual reality helping students with mental health issues at CU Boulder

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BOULDER, Colo. — Virtual reality technology isn’t just for gaming anymore.

The University of Colorado Boulder’s Counseling and Psychiatric Services office is using the technology to treat students facing anxiety, depression and phobias – such as fear of heights, flying, public speaking or insects.

“Virtual reality allows us to fully immerse students in environments that would otherwise be difficult,” said CU Boulder Counseling and Psychiatric Services Director Monica Ng.

This new treatment has been very limited on college campuses until now but Ng says the exposure therapy is an evidence-based treatment to address anxiety and phobias.

The counseling team is excited about this new technology to help students.

Recently, CU Boulder also introduced canine therapy for students and additional programs will be added this year.

The virtual reality program is just in its infancy.

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