A Queensland organisation is helping us understand what a mental illness feels like.

It’s developed a virtual reality program for schools that simulates disorientation.

Tamika Seeto reports.


This 360 degree virtual reality experience is the closest you’ll get to knowing what it feels like to have a psychotic episode.

As soon as you put the headset on, you start to feel uncomfortable and struggle to concentrate.

Using sight, sound, touch and smell, it simulates a young person having that experience.

Leanne Butterworth, Clearthinking Queensland: “We did a whole lot of research into common symptoms. So what is it that people see, how do they see it, how are they feeling, how do they hear it.”

Research by Mission Australia and the Black Dog Institute found one in four young Australians meet the criteria for a serious mental illness.

For people who’ve never experienced that, it can be difficult to comprehend.

Lose Your Mind makes you feel like you’re having a psychotic episode. You feel uncomfortable and you can’t focus.

The program is offered as a workshop for professionals working with young people at risk.

Vox 1: “It was a bit disturbing yeah but it’s interesting.”

Developed for World Mental Health Day, Lose Your Mind is a small step towards increasing our understanding of mental illness.

Tamika Seeto, QUT News.