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  • Writer's pictureZenVR

Darien Boy Scouts learn virtual meditation; Youth Treatment Center pilot program w/ ZenVR is LIVE

The Darien Times — A Darien Troop 35 alum and former Eagle Scout returned to teach the next generation of Darien Scouts about virtual technology and mental health.

Matt Golino, 29, who graduated from Darien High School in 2011, walked Scouts from Darien’s STEM Venture Crew 353 through meditation with ZenVR, a program he has been working on for years.”

Matt Golino here: Spurred by the pandemic, we all know this generation’s youth are growing up in a reality where virtual education and entertainment are a cornerstone of their at-home and in-school experience. We all know someone whose kid picked up how to use a tablet or smartphone at an impressively early age. It comes natural to them and in many cases they prefer this medium. We’ve found through ZenVR that bringing meditation content to virtual platforms like VR, in fact, makes the experience more effective and accessible to a greater audience than ever before, including youth.

Mental Health has unfortunately impacted us all, including the youth demographic as well:

  • Per the Surgeon General, “Mental health challenges are the leading cause of disability and poor life outcomes in young people… we’ve seen significant increases in certain mental health disorders in youth, including depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation.”

  • In a survey conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health, more than 60% of teens with a major depressive episode did not receive any mental health treatment in the past year.

  • The pandemic has also led to increased levels of stress and burnout among students. According to a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association, more than 70% of Gen Z and millennial students reported experiencing higher levels of stress and anxiety during the pandemic.

  • The pandemic has also led to increased rates of suicide among young people. According to a study conducted by the American Medical Association, there was a 33% increase in the number of suicide attempts among 12 to 17-year-olds in 2020 compared to 2019.

These concerning trends bring us to a prime opportunity to bring the proven benefits of meditation to a group that traditionally are not seen as receptive to the subject matter.

As an Eagle Scout, I was setup for success as an adult by the tools and experiences I was fortunate to gain well before adulthood. Having since personally experienced the benefits of meditation and mindfulness practice as an adult, it’s very exciting to adapt the teaching frameworks into a methodology that can resonate with people many years before I was able to discover them.

We’re proud to share that ZenVR also has a LIVE pilot program active at a youth treatment center, Red Mountain Sedona, in Arizona, where the effectiveness of VR-based meditation and mindfulness training are being used to assist in treatment programs. The Director of the center, Josh White, is a member of our advisory board, and also the lead investor of our Wefunder crowdfunding campaign.

Peace and Safe Travels,

Matt Golino, CEO & Founder

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