When Breonna Taylor was seven, her parents sent her a video from a video-game console in the kitchen.
Her parents called it the “C-Gear”.
They didn’t know it at the time, but Taylor was one of the first girls to be exposed to the virtual reality craze known as virtual reality.
Her dad had been watching YouTube videos about how it was possible to play games like World of Warcraft in virtual reality headsets, which allowed you to walk around the virtual world, with your eyes looking down.
She had never played video games before.
“When I saw that video, I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to play that one’,” she said.
“I just kind of wanted to do it.”
When she tried it, she had to put her head down and try to focus.
She didn’t get much of a response.
“But I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong,” she said in an interview.
Her father, David, was initially concerned because Taylor was an only child.
“We wanted to make sure that my daughter was OK, that we weren’t putting her at risk,” he said.
When Taylor was 14, she started taking her own life.
David says he was initially worried that his daughter had overdosed.
“She had gone through all the normal teenage angst, but I didn`t want to see her go through that,” he explained.
But it was too late.
David found out Taylor had died from an overdose at the age of 15.
“Her death is a big blow to me,” he told Al Jazeera.
“It’s very sad.
It’s very traumatic for all of us.”
He has been working with the National Center for Children in Technology (NCCT) to develop a program for children to be screened for depression and other mental health issues.
“This is something we know works for children, so we are trying to find ways to give this treatment to more children in a way that they don’t need it,” he added.
He said the program is now being tested in schools and has been adopted by schools around the country.
The goal is to reach as many as 15,000 children over the next five years.
But while he is happy to have a program that is able to address mental health, he also thinks there needs to be more.
“Kids need to be aware of what we are doing to them,” he says.
“And that is that we are putting a video in the living room.”
The NCCT said it would work with teachers to find more ways to teach students about mental health.
The National Center on Addiction and Mental Health (NAMI) says that in 2017, more than 2.3 million children in the US experienced mental health problems, including anxiety, depression, substance use disorders and substance abuse.
Many of these kids also experienced a lack of support and social support.
“As we have more and more data showing that depression and substance use are associated with significant mental health challenges, we can’t ignore that they are also often associated with suicidal ideation, suicide attempts and suicide attempts,” said Dr Jennifer Fergusson, a clinical associate professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center, in a statement.
“The National Center recommends that schools use video games as an opportunity to engage students in critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and offer support services that help students overcome challenges and cope with their feelings.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that all children be screened every two years for depression.
But the CDC, the US’s largest health agency, has called for the use of virtual reality in schools as a means of helping kids feel more confident about their mental health and depression.
In September, the CDC recommended that schools include a VR headset on their campus and recommended parents get their children tested.
“Our research indicates that using virtual reality to teach young children about mental wellness is a very effective way to reduce their depression risk and improve their self-esteem,” said Amber Linton, a spokesperson for the AAP.
“Parents can learn more about VR from the National Institute of Mental Health, which has developed a VR video game for use in schools.”
What is VR?
Virtual reality is a computer game that allows players to see what is going on in the real world through their eyes.
The game uses sensors to detect where the player’s eyes are pointing and then displays virtual objects in front of the player.
The virtual objects can move around the room and the player can see their surroundings.
In some VR games, the camera tracks the player, so they can see what they’re seeing.
The games can include elements like moving platforms and other virtual objects.
They can also include other elements, such as virtual sound, that can simulate real physical events.
“There is no reason to believe that virtual reality would not be effective for teaching young children,” said Paul J. Bickert, a professor of psychology at the Indiana University School of Medicine, who