‘The virtual reality features of the Virti Well Be It programme mean that the course is perfect for busy people who want to ‘fast-track’ their mindfulness skill acquisition’
➨ Founded by Dr Alexander Young, Virti uses immersive technologies such as virtual reality, along with artificial intelligence and gamification to help professionals learn faster and remember training for longer
➨ Working in partnership, Virti and Furness have developed the immersive Well Be It programme, which is designed to support the development of mental resilience and emotional regulation for workplace wellbeing
➨ Individuals or team leaders must book a free initial coaching call. Once their needs and goals are established with a specialist, users can download the Virti app and begin their programme
Virti, a digital training company based, is working with ex-Royal Air Force (RAF) helicopter pilot and mindfulness trainer Sarah Furness to help professionals cope with the demands of their jobs during the pandemic.
Founded by trauma and orthopaedic surgeon Dr Alexander Young, Virti uses immersive technologies such as virtual reality, along with artificial intelligence (AI) and gamification, deployed via a cloud-based solution, to help professionals learn faster and remember training for longer.
Working in partnership, Virti and Furness have developed the immersive Well Be It programme, which is designed to support the development of mental resilience and emotional regulation for workplace wellbeing.
Courses last for four weeks but require just three to four minutes of daily practice and can be completed in sequence or in isolation, making them highly suitable for busy professionals in need of mindfulness practice to reduce emotional exhaustion and occupational stress.
On-demand course content is made up of 360° videos suitable for virtual reality headsets, computers and mobile devices that teach users to navigate difficult emotions (including stress), and to maximise focus and productivity through mindfulness and meditation techniques.
Other key benefits for participants include enhanced capacity for creative thought, increased self esteem and empathy, and better-quality sleep.
Virti says their immersiveness—particularly while using a virtual reality headset—enables users to develop core mental skills more rapidly.
Furness says: “The virtual reality features of the Well Be It programme mean that the course is perfect for busy people who want to ‘fast-track’ their mindfulness skill acquisition. During the short daily practices, participants are fully engaged in (and interacting with) the content, free from the usual distractions.”
“Just a small time investment pays dividends in the form of improved health and confidence for those who see the modules through to completion.”
Richard McKenzie, a user of the Virti Well Be It programme, explains how it has helped him: “Since following the Well Be It programme, I’ve come to realise that my mental wellbeing has as much of an impact on my life as my physical wellbeing does. I’ve learnt that mindfulness is something that everyone can make use of—no matter what walk of life they come from. All you need is five minutes each day to rebuild new positive mental habits.”
“Since being introduced to the Well Be It programme, my daily immersive practice has become something that I really look forward to. I use the meditation techniques to overcome the ‘noise’ in my brain and unlock creative thought patterns. The Growth Mindset module has really helped me to deal with setbacks and build confidence in my professional life and personal life.”
‘The importance of being mentally adaptable’
Although stress and mental health are common issues that employers of all kinds must grapple with, the need for a programme such as Well Be It has become clearer during the pandemic.
According to the insurer AXA, 64% of those in work across the UK and Europe said their work-related stress levels have increased compared with pre-pandemic. Of these, 81% described themselves as having a “poor” or “low” state of mind.
Furness says: “It’s easy to assume that mental resilience is instinctive, but my 20 years in the RAF taught me that people don’t always feel as strong as they look. Since the pandemic began, most of us are encountering stressful situations on a daily basis, but few are equipped with the mental toolkit to cope with this stress in a healthy way.”
“The Covid crisis taught us the importance of being mentally adaptable and prepared for the unexpected; every professional wanting to operate at the peak of their capacity must first learn how to understand and proactively train their own mind.”
She adds: “It’s encouraging to see that businesses are now embracing tech-enabled opportunities for their employees and leaders to develop these essential skills.”
The Well Be It programme is accessible to businesses and individual professionals.
Individuals or team leaders must book a free initial coaching call. Once their needs and goals are established with a specialist, users can download the Virti app and begin their programme.
Virti’s partnership with Furness on Well Be It follows the release of its virtual patient technology earlier this year, which enables medical professionals and trainees to interact with AI-powered ‘patients’, through their tablet, desktop, or virtual or augmented reality headset, and role-play life-like, interactive scenarios.
This is being used in the US at the University of Texas Medical Branch and in the UK within the National Health Service.