Tech for teens to escape reality

River D'Almeida, Ph.D
The Reading Frame
Published in
4 min readMay 28, 2024

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Virtual reality may provide teens with an affordable, accessible way to reduce stress.

Photo by Creative Christians on Unsplash

Teens today face unprecedented stressors, leading to a steady decline in their mental health over the past decade.

Social media makes it easy to compare themselves to others and feel like they’re not good enough. The constant news about climate change and politics can be really overwhelming. There’s also tons of pressure to do well in school and worries about the future. On top of all that, it can be hard to find mental health support because there aren’t enough counselors available.

Anxiety and depression levels soared after COVID-19 hit, exacerbated by a severe shortage of mental health providers. With only 14 child and adolescent psychiatrists per 100,000 children in the U.S., the crisis demands innovative solutions.

Over the last 10 years, the implications of rising mental health issues among teens in the U.S. are stark. Statistics reveal significant increases in rates of anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts. For instance, the National Institute of Mental Health reports that nearly 32% of adolescents experienced an anxiety disorder, while rates of depression have risen by more than 60%. The suicide rate among teenagers has also increased by 56% between 2007 and 2017.

VR: A New Hope?

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River D'Almeida, Ph.D
The Reading Frame

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