There is no question about it, mental healthcare plays a huge role in our society today. With campaigns on social media, awareness has reached an all time high and people can talk about their problems a lot more openly. Unfortunately, despite this mental health problems have increased considerably. Even before the pandemic, there was a steady increase in mental health conditions with a huge spike during Covid-19 and now with other geo-political strife in the world people experience another upward surge in mental illnesses.
The most common conditions showed on the left graph, were already increasing at a rate between 15-25% before the pandemic. Then, with the advent of Covid the increase rate jumped to 50% and even 65% in the case of anxiety. Substance abuse also increased considerably in contrast with closed bars and locals. Isolation may have helped with the pandemic to a degree but it caused havoc when it comes to the mental well being of our society.
The impact of the rising mental health problems is not only felt on the public but also on the expenditure which has increased every year and shows no sign of slowing down. And ultimately this also affects society at large since all of this money comes from taxes so it is another strain on the people. But there are some problems that you cannot solve no matter how much money you throw at them. One of them is the outdated mental healthcare system. For example just for the year 2021 alone the NHS reported more than 1.4 million people on the waiting list to receive mental health care with another 8 million people that could potentially receive help but were not considered "sick enough".
● 1 in 4 people experience mental health issues each year;
● 792 million people are affected by mental health issues worldwide;
● At any given time, 1 in 6 working-age adults have symptoms associated with mental ill health;
● Mental ill health is responsible for 72 million working days lost and costs £34.9 billion each year;
● Mental illness is the second-largest source of burden of disease in England. Mental illnesses are more common, long-lasting and impactful than other health conditions;
● People with a long-term mental health condition lose their jobs every year at around double the rate of those without a mental health condition. This equates to 300,000 people – the equivalent of the population of Newcastle or Belfast;
● Men aged 40-49 have the highest suicide rates in the UK (9)
● 75% of mental illness (excluding dementia) starts before age 18 (7,8)
● 70-75% of people with diagnosable mental illness receive no treatment at all.
● The total cost of mental ill health in England is estimated at £105 billion per year;
● Mental health conditions can have a substantial effect on all areas of life, such as school or work performance, relationships with family and friends and ability to participate in the community. Two of the most common mental health conditions, depression and anxiety, cost the global economy US$ 1 trillion each year.;
● Most people who commit suicide have a diagnosable mental disorder -- most commonly a depressive disorder or a substance abuse disorder.
In the present we live in a time where a person who needs mental health help will first have to ask the question: How much is it going to cost me? This is because the cost of mental health treatment is nothing to scoff at with expensive therapy sessions, overpriced drugs as well as gas price and other expenses. Neurotops is here to bring the future of mental health solutions by introducing virtual reality therapy and a subscription model which will be the most affordable mental treatment service to date.
Accessibility has always been a major issue when it comes to the health industry including mental health. Recent studies show that despite mental health problems increasing exponentially during the pandemic, access to mental health has actually decreased. There were different sociological factors which contributed to this including public fear for their safety. Neurotops will use virtual reality to circumvent these barriers, eliminating all risks and removing geographical limitations. Now you can receive treatment right from the comfort of your own home.
One of the obstacles that stops people from receiving mental health treatment is actually just being in the same room with the therapist. For a lot of people talking about their problems in front of a stranger can be a harrowing experience, especially is they already had social anxiety to begin with.
With virtual reality Neurotops will not only help you remain anonymous but change the way you interact with your therapist so that it doesn’t feel as personal as before, thus making the treatment process work better.
But of course this is not all there is to virtual reality. As it is being used in more and more industries, its market potential is also growing at a rapid rate. And the interesting part about its market growth is that between all the different industries: videogames, entertainment, military, engineering, etc. , it is actually the healthcare sector which has seen the biggest growth and shows the biggest potential.