Virtual Ability Mental Health Symposium

Press Release from Virtual Ability Inc

Virtual Ability, Inc. announces the 2012 Virtual Ability Mental Health Symposium, to be held Saturday, April 28, in Second Life®.

Our society too often takes mental health for granted and too frequently stigmatizes people with mental health issues. Saturday’s 2012 Virtual Ability Mental Health Symposium offers a variety of perspectives for thinking positively about mental health

The symposium’s keynote presenter is Dick Dillon of Innovaision, LLC. Dillon’s topic is “Why Virtual Counseling Should Be Viewed as Advanced Telemedicine.” He will explain why using virtual worlds for counseling allows better service than “real life” counseling. He was recently Senior VP of Planning and Development for Preferred Family Healthcare, and has spent over five years actively involved in Second Life®.

Featured presenters include Dr. Tina Garcia, Frank Hannah, Dr. Marty Jencius, Dr. Debra London, Anya Ibor, and DyVerse Steele.

Dr. Garcia, a lawyer with TBI, will discuss cognitive rehabilitation and brain injury. Hannah, a retired clinical mental health counselor, will share a method for developing and maintaining positive self-concept and optimum mental health.

Drs. Jencius and London run the Counselor Education in Second Life yearly SL conference. Ibor, executive director of Fearless Nation PTSD Support, will explain the neurobiology of post-traumatic stress disorder. Steele, a peer support leader for HIV/AIDS and diabetes, will offer information about mental health and minority communities.

Not all sessions will be formal presentations. MermaidSue Bailey, a counselor from the United Kingdom who conducts an active Second Life support group for people with disabilities, will lead a discussion of the importance of peer support for mental health.

Roberto Salubrius, a former medical student misdiagnosed with agoraphobia, will use the story of his life to explain why mental health issues aren’t all mental. The audience will be invited to think about the nature of self in the context of a reading from Paul Brok’s book “Into the Silent Land.”

Presentations will take place at various locations in Second Life®, including the Sojourner Auditorium on Virtual Ability Island.

The full schedule of confirmed presenters is available in-world, and at the Virtual Ability website.

Alice Krueger (Gentle Heron in-world), president of Virtual Ability, Inc., noted, “A symposium is a formal meeting where individual presentations are followed by discussion. We intend these sessions to encourage audience participation with the presenters and especially with the content the presenters share. Mental health is too important a topic to ignore.”

About Virtual Ability, Inc.

Virtual Ability, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation based in Denver, Colorado, which is dedicated to empowering people with a wide range of disabilities by providing a supporting environment for them to enter and thrive in on-line virtual worlds like Second Life®.

For more information on Virtual Ability, Inc., including the benefits of virtual reality for people with disabilities, please see http://www.VirtualAbility.org.

For further information, contact:
Alice Krueger, President
Virtual Ability Inc.
Office: 303/400-3306
akrueger@VirtualAbility.org

Images from Fantasy Faire 3: Meandervale

Meandervale is definitely one of the more whimsical regions in this year’s Fantasy Faire. With butterfly-sailed windmills rotating serenely in the breeze and Charlar-like trees, laden with butterflies of their own providing the shade on row boats, you know you’re definitely not in Kansas any more as you wander through the sun-gold grass and past fruit as big as an avatar.

The region has been created by Marcus Inkpen and Sharni Azalee, who together run The Looking Glass located on Horizon Dream, a sim I reviewed last year as a part of my ongoing virtual destinations pieces.

Here you will find works by the likes of Material Squirrel Wings, Fantavatar & Moonstruck, The Elegant Goth, the appropriately named Grim Bros, Mystic Sky, and of course, Looking Glass’ own store as well as a host of other stores, in a rustic-style house complete with thatched roof. Wander at your leisure and enjoy.

The Teleport arrival point, with the Looking Glass store beyond
Whimsical windmills
Little Me receives two little visitors…
Looking down the street