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Influence the development of a new treatment for depression


Mind are currently working with University College London (UCL) to develop virtual reality treatments for depression and we need your help make sure that these are accessible and useful for as many people as possible.

UCL have already shown that VR technology can be used to help people with depression to be kinder to themselves. We offered people the chance to wear a VR headset and experience what it’s like to be in a ‘virtual body’, known as an avatar. They would comfort a character who appeared upset, and then have their own comforting words played back to them. We found that this helped people to think about themselves more positively and even reduced symptoms of depression. We are now improving this VR therapy and getting it ready to be used in the NHS. 

About the opportunity

We’re looking for people who have experienced depression to share their opinions and advice.

Mind and UCL are holding some online consultation groups on the following dates:

  • Monday 15 March, 10am-12pm
  • Saturday 27 March, 12pm – 2pm
  • Tuesday 30 March, 6pm-8pm
  • Friday 9 April, 3pm-5pm

These will be discussions in which you are invited to share your views and experiences. They will be led by researchers with their own lived experience of depression, who will ask some questions to guide the conversation, although you do not have to respond to any of them if you don’t feel comfortable to do so. You would only need to attend on one of the dates to take part.

The consultation groups will take about two hours, with a break in the middle, and will be held via video call on Zoom. There will be someone to provide technical support if you need it.

We will offer a £20 Amazon voucher as a thank you for your time.

To find out more about this research and the consultation groups, please read our information sheet.

Please note that we can only invite people who are aged over 18 years, are currently resident in the UK, and are confident in speaking English to join. This is to make sure everyone can understand and take part in the group discussion.

We hope that getting involved in our consultation group will be enjoyable and rewarding, but we know that participating in these conversations can sometimes be a stressful experience. Please think carefully about how you’ll look after your own wellbeing and make sure you have support in place. You might find it helpful to look at Mind’s information managing pressure and  tips for your mental health in everyday life .

Applying for this opportunity

Mind will select participants based on answers to a few simple questions to make sure that the people we invite to join the focus groups reflect the diversity of people who will use the virtual reality program.

This information will be held by Mind in compliance with General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018 and will not be shared with UCL. The data you provide will only be used to aid selection of participants and will not affect your access to services. All data will be deleted twelve weeks after the closing date of the opportunity.

Fill in our survey if you would like to take part. The deadline to express an interest is 5pm on Friday 19 February.

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