We completed over 2 years of research on the mental health of refugees and solutions to address the high levels of trauma in this population. Very few studies have focused on the mental health of refugees due to the challenges of conducting field research, yet small surveys done by relief services on the ground have found lifetime prevalence of PTSD of 35.4%, and a point prevalence of 27.2% among adults. The mental health crisis affecting millions of refugees in camps and the region receives little notice, resources, and most importantly treatment. Conscious of the problem of access we have designed a program that will employ a holistic treatment program with the use of immersive reality to alleviate the trauma in men, women, and children by:
- intervening to decrease hyperarousal and protect the refugee's neuroendocrine integrity,
- helping the patient construct a cohesive narrative of the events during the post-traumatic period and,
- becoming an advocate for the refugees, their children, and their families, helping to empower them so they can attain mastery and control over the forces that threaten to overwhelm their coping capacities.
Our solution is drawn from meetings and interviews with refugees, UN camp administrators, Doctors without Borders, and the Syrian American Medical Society. The measure of the crisis required a new approach which at scale will support individuals and communities in the moment of crisis. We are International Development Specialist under the guidance of Stanford Psychiatry Immersive Technology Consortium (SPIT-C) lead by Dr. Kim Bullock. Our virtual reality therapies are supported and drawn from clinical trials and recent findings by research institutions. We founded Studio Bahia, a 501c3 nonprofit, to provide free access to therapy to millions of people using virtual reality cardboard headset and earphones with your mobile phone.