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The COVID-19 pandemic created a global crisis for mental health, fueling short- and long-term stresses and undermining the mental health of millions.  According to a 2022 World Health Organization (WHO) mental health report, workplaces promoting mental health and reducing work stress enhance health and are likely to improve work performance and productivity, boost staff morale and motivation, and minimize workplace tension and conflict. So, actions promoting mental health in the workplace are practical.

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Recently, two notable platforms emerged in the metaverse to provide mental health resources. The first is Innerworld, co-founded by Jewel, the multi-platinum, Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter and Innerworld’s founder and CEO, Noah Robinson. The second is STEM City USA, an award-winning metaverse built by Career Communications Group CEO Tyrone Taborn.

Innerworld provides resources for coping with depression, loss, anxiety, ADHD, chronic illness, and addiction recovery. It also offers peer support groups and one-on-one assistance from trained non-professionals.

Meanwhile, STEM City USA is in various stages of offering mental health services, including therapy, counseling, and medication management. It also provides a safe and inclusive space for people to connect and engage in meaningful activities.

While Innerworld has received funding from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, STEM City USA has garnered support from Boston Scientific Corporation, which offers many resources for emotional well-being.

STEM City USA and Innerworld are available on various devices, including VR headsets and smartphones. However, despite these similarities, the two platforms differ in some respects in mental health delivery.

For example, Innerworld is managed by trained non-professionals, whereas STEM City USA employs licensed mental health professionals. Innerworld primarily focuses on cognitive behavioral tools, while STEM City USA offers a more comprehensive approach to mental health care.

Ultimately, the choice between Innerworld and STEM City USA comes from personal preference and individual needs. However, both platforms offer valuable resources for mental health support, and their emergence is a positive development in the field. Therefore, it is essential to support these initiatives and continue to innovate in the pursuit of accessible and effective mental health care.

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