Phoenix Virtual Reality for Self-Confidence: Developing a VR approach to help young people with psychosis

What is the project about?

This is a project about developing a virtual reality (VR) approach for young people who are experiencing psychosis. The VR will be designed to increase happiness, activity levels, and overall quality of life. The aim is that the VR intervention will help improve the self-confidence of young people with psychosis.

Why is this research important?

Young people with psychosis can often experience stigma from both others and from themselves, which can result in them becoming overly self-critical and forming a negative view of themselves. Ultimately, this can lead people to withdraw from everyday situations.

This study will aim to develop an approach that will improve the self-confidence of young people and enable them to engage better with every day situations. We also hope that this study will lead to an improvement in people’s general mental health.

How are McPin and people with lived experience involved in this research?

McPin have recruited young people (aged 16-30) to advise on this project. The first stage of this project will be to design and develop the VR intervention. This will be done with a lot of creative input from young people, who will shape the final product. Once the VR has been developed, it will be tested in a study within NHS services. The young people’s advisory group for the project will use their lived experience to advise on how to conduct this research in a way that is appropriate for the young people participating in the research.

What’s the current status of the project?

We’re currently working with a Young People’s Advisory Group that was set up for this project. Together we’ve held creative workshops about VR design; made key decisions about the VR features; and are currently in the user testing phase, with young people visiting the lab in Oxford to test the initial virtual reality builds. Young people continue to be involved in shaping this project with McPin and the Oxford teams.

Where can I find more information?

For more information about this project, please get in touch with Roya Kamvar (