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Building an empathic workforce with virtual reality

Our Training Hub team has successfully relaunched the latest version of the virtual reality training programme “Through the Eyes of” (TTEO).

Posted on: 14 May 2024

Through the Eyes of is a course designed by our Training Hub to help build empathy, reduce stigma and discrimination, and increase understanding of mental health disorders.

This latest version of the expanded programme, supports staff in understanding the experiences of those living with anxiety or psychosis may deal with both in the home and in public or at work. The programme isdelivered by our Training Hub’s Learning and Development Practitioner Leading in Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, Sarah Tahsildar, to various staff across primary care and community care services.


What's new?

The purpose behind allowing staff to experience symptoms of a mental health disorder first-hand is to build empathy with the residents they support who are having similar experiences in their everyday life. 

Using feedback from hundreds of participants, the Training Hub began development of the latest version of the course. Surveys, focus groups and insights from service-users with lived experience are central to the virtual reality experiences of the programme. This service user input helped develop a clear understanding of what they wanted professionals to know when providing support to them. Allfeedback, clinical wisdom and the latest research were then put into the script writing and development of the course which included additional virtual reality experiences. 

Sarah Tahsildar, the programme author, said: "I am super excited to share version two of TTEO. Building on the success so far, the update offers deeper insights, enhanced tools, and more interactive experiences to help participants navigate the complexities of anxiety and psychosis.

“I feel privileged that we can continue to shed light on mental health challenges and foster empathy and support within our community.”

More sessions will be delivered throughout 2024/25 to staff across the public sector working in North East London including Tower Hamlets. It’s hoped that the continued success of this programme will not only drive forward an empathic workforce to support residents with anxiety and psychosis but be expanded to other areas of healthcare to meet the needs of the workforce and the community we serve.