Brain Virtual reality has the ability to impact the brain on a deep level, impacting theta rhythms responsible for memories and emotions, helping to sharpen cognition and learn faster. (Image: Shutterstock)

It’s normal that the final days of summer are often accompanied by a pit in the stomach kind of feeling, knowing fall is coming and, this year, the feeling may be harder to shake as the Delta Variant is dominating headlines; masks indoors for the vaccinated is the new Fauci recommendation; and, once again, parents fear a full week of in-person school is a moving target. So much for the idea of heading back to the office in Fall 2021 feeling the familiar routine. Living for an extended period of time within a state of fear and elevated stress is why our country finds itself at a level of anxiety and depression that has tripled its pre-pandemic level

The pandemic’s impact on global mental health is an underreported, ticking time bomb that providers and insurers will be defusing for years to come. Mental health professionals are amongst the thinnest stretched frontline workers, and there is no vaccine to slow the spread of COVID-related mental illness. Something must change for employers who, on average, already pay between $5,000-$15,000 per employee for mental health care.

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