Duncan Martinez has struggled with mental health for much of his life, and he has tried therapy but found it too expensive to keep up. Instead, he turned to Inner World, a standalone metaverse where anonymous users can open up about their mental health and work through life’s challenges with others. It’s not therapy, but Duncan says it’s been a useful and accessible alternative.

Inner World is a platform where users can output their stress or relax in a safe space, and Duncan describes it as more of a support group. Even though users don’t necessarily have to share their problems, the environment encourages them to do so because they know they’re being listened to without judgment. In Duncan’s experience, his Mexican household always taught him to swallow his pain, and Inner World provides a space where he can express himself freely.

Duncan’s wife, Stephanie, initially had a hard time understanding Inner World, but she has since seen how positive it has been for him. Duncan also tries to make her day better when she comes on his computer, and he has learned from Inner World to give her space and time to open up and listen.

Lately, Duncan has been turning to Inner World to process the anniversary of his father’s death from COVID and his own hospital battle with the illness. Inner World helps him relax and remember the good times with his father, and he’s found it to be a useful tool in coping with his emotions.

Inner World is especially helpful for underserved populations for mental health intervention, with about 70% of its users identifying as male. The anonymity of Inner World helps remove the stigma of seeking help for mental health and allows people to come into a virtual environment that feels like a game. The founder and CEO, Noelle Robinson, started Inner World because she struggled with depression as a teenager and found solace in a 2D version of the metaverse.

In conclusion, Inner World provides an accessible and anonymous space for people like Duncan to work through their mental health challenges. It’s not therapy, but it provides a support group environment that encourages users to express themselves without judgment. With its potential to help underserved populations, Inner World offers a valuable alternative to traditional therapy.

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