Cummings Institute Announces Partnership with STAX3D to Test How Virtual Reality Can Impact Mental Health

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The Cummings Institute is to test the use of virtual reality in the treatment of patients with mental illness. The overall aim is to use this technology to revolutionize the way mental health is treated throughout the United States.

The Cummings Institute

The Cummings Institute

The New Doctorate in Behavioral Health

The Cummings Institute is investigating the efficacy of virtual reality in the treatment of mental illness in partnership with STAX3D, a 3D technology solutions company in Gilbert, Arizona.

The partnership will allow the Cummings Institute, one of the few academic institutions in the United States that specialize in integrated behavioral health education, to test the use of virtual reality (VR) with patients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), social and emotional issues, and depression and anxiety.

“The use of technology is an untested tool in our arsenal for treating mental illness,” says Cara English, director of the Cummings Institute. “We are excited to learn more about its effectiveness as an alternative treatment option for some of today’s most common and untreated mental health issues.”

VR allows patients to experience a variety of stimuli—both visual and auditory—related to their disorder and learn how to control their automatic responses in increasingly stressful situations. The goal is to help reduce a person’s fear and anxiety by focusing on behavioral changes before prescribing medication.

“The virtual environment can be programmed to help patients develop and practice a relaxation response to stress in a safe and controlled setting,” says Alisa Yocum, the president of STAX3D.

The Cummings Institute and STAX3D will share the development process and vision for their partnership at the Art and Science of Integrated Care Conference October 14-15 at the Phoenix Art Museum. Attendees will have the opportunity to experience the VR technology firsthand.

“We are thrilled to partner with STAX3D to explore the intersection of emerging technologies with behavioral health technologies,” English says. “By using advances in technology like virtual reality, we can positively impact the reach of mental health treatment and innovate to improve the quality of our patients lives.”

To learn more about the Art and Science of Integrated Care Conference or the CGI-STAX3D partnership, visit:

The Cummings Institute: Dr. Nicholas Cummings founded the Cummings Institute in 2014 with the main goal of training current medical professionals in the science of integrated health care—blending primary care and behavioral health techniques into one system. Students learn to use the Biodyne model, and they explore courses in medical literacy, behavioral health interventions and health care entrepreneurship. Once they’ve attained their Doctor of Behavioral Health degree, students will have the necessary skills to incorporate integrated health into public and private health sectors. To learn more, please visit:

Stax3D specializes in delivering precision 3D solutions, including 3D printing, design, scanning, augmented and virtual reality, to diverse industries like manufacturing, aerospace, medical and engineering.

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