Orygen Virtual Worlds

Orygen Virtual Worlds


transforming telehealth with virtual worlds

Introducing Orygen Virtual Worlds (OVW), the cutting-edge telehealth solution designed to revolutionalise youth mental health services.

Orygen Digital’s world-first, purpose-built virtual world platform creates immersive environments where young individuals can connect and interact with each other through personalized avatars.

OVW will extend the reach of remote youth mental health care, delivering an engaging and user-friendly experience to young people in need.

about orygen virtual worlds

Orygen Virtual Worlds is the next generation of telehealth technology designed to increase the reach of youth mental health services and make them more engaging to young people. OVW is a purpose-built, online virtual world platform aimed at supporting the delivery of remote youth mental health care.

Our goals are to embed OVW within Orygen’s Specialist Program as a complementary clinical tool.

Youth mental health services offer evidence-based early intervention for young people who are experiencing mental health difficulties. However, these services can be difficult to access for reasons including geographical barriers, capacity limitations, cost and stigma. Many young people also struggle to engage with treatment because it lacks relevance to their needs, or they experience psychological barriers like anxiety or low motivation.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, services largely moved online delivery, supported by platforms like Zoom. These platforms overcame a lot of service access issues and we found that young people enjoyed the flexibility of online service delivery, but difficulties remained with engaging young people through these videoconferencing platforms. The poor usability and acceptability of these platforms is unsurprising given they were never designed to deliver youth mental health care.

Online virtual world platforms such as OVW are a more user friendly, engaging alternative for young people.

These online virtual environments allow users to meet and interact with other users simultaneously, often through games and social activities. Based on the success of our initial pilot work and on feedback from young people and clinicians, OVW developed and tested a prototype of a purpose-built online virtual world platform to support the delivery of remote youth mental health care.

We found that young people were able to practice their social skills in a controlled environment, have a more engaging tool to interact with others online, and it also offered a sense of anonymity for young people who were more socially anxious.