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Arkansas Vets Suicide Program Gets D.C. Audience

January 29, 2020

A House Veterans Committee panel Tuesday reviewed programs from across the country, including one from the Natural State, that are helping to lower suicide rates among veterans.

There was even a presentation from SoldierStrong, which is described as a “Virtual Reality therapy program.”

Wearing goggles, a veteran can see, hear and even smell high-stress simulations.

“Consistent exposure therapy can gradually make difficult memories less harrowing,” a description of the program stated.

Audience members were able to view some of the SoldierStrong images on a screen and listen to some of the sounds.

“Two things that aren’t here today are a rumble board; it’s a series of speakers that add a tactile element to the immersive experience. And also, we have a scent dispenser. … It increases the immersive experience: things like burnt rubber, sweat [and] explosions,” said Sharon Mozgai, a research analyst with the University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technologies.

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