Infinite Possibilities Program Overview
- On average, one person dies by suicide every 40 seconds somewhere in the world.
- It is predicted that by 2020 the rate of death will increase to one every 20 seconds.
- Over one million people die by suicide worldwide each year.
- Suicide accounts for 1.8% of total mortality globally.
- Suicide is the SECOND leading cause of death for ages 10-24
- Incredibly, four out of five teens who attempt suicide have given clear warning signs.
What do you do when you know that people are suffering and dying from self-harm and overwhelming despair and depression.
While you read about this imitative somewhere around 10 people are going to take their life – the numbers are simply staggering – 120 people an hour, or nearly 3,000 people a day.
Both of the founders of Infinite Possibilities have both lost very close people to suicide – family, friends and lovers and colleagues.
What do you say to someone, whose child died in their arms from suicide?
What possible words can ever make a father, or a mother feel whole again after such overwhelming tragedy?
We want to do something that has never been done before – we want to use our talents as Filmmaker, Author, Digital Media professionals, VR Creators, and human beings with a deep sense of compassion for the suffering of people in despair.
We want to use the latest tools in the technology box to put suicide prevention and awareness content in front of vulnerable individuals and interrupt the cycle of hopelessness.
The Infinite Possibilities proposal is to use Virtual Reality to engage, excite and inspire those at risk of suicide and to create intervention-based Virtual Reality solutions for those youths (and adults) who have given clear warning signs of suicide or who are suffering from depression.
INFINITE POSSIBILITIES & CONNECTION
Based around the concepts of ‘Infinite Possibilities’ and ‘Connection’ the creation of powerful visual journeys through the medium of VR would be able to break down the walls of darkness, resident the minds of the sufferers, in a way that could mentally, physically, spiritually and physiologically inspire and enlighten these wounded souls into grasping the infinite range of alternatives to the blackness.
This project has the support and combined initiatives from a wide variety of people and practitioners with experiences around education, suicide, mental illness and rehabilitation all over the world.
‘Infinite Possibilities’ will provide a series of VR experiences, presented in both VR CGI and VR Video content, portraying what illuminating beauty and options lie beyond the chasm of depression that the person is currently experiencing.
In addition, we propose to reach out to indigenous youth and provide VR experiences that re-establish the connection with their often-times lost culture, history and feeling of belonging.
These ‘connections’ are designed to remedy the cultural disconnect that is a prominent factor in the reasons for the high level of indigenous people that choose to end their life.
VIRTUAL REALITY is the ideal medium to provide fully immersive experiences to engage with people who may be suffering from an overwhelming sense of hopelessness.
According to research by Greenlight, Virtual Reality activities have a unique ‘Emotional Footprint’ and generates the highest ratings for ‘Happy’ and ‘Energetic’ compared with other media.
The emotional impact of Virtual Reality allows for messages of hope and possibility to be presented in a psychologically impactful and significant way.
Virtual Reality has been shown to have an 80-90% information retention profile – things viewed in Virtual reality ‘stick’ in the mind and therefore, while it is unlikely that the Infinite Possibilities VR program is going to be watched at the point of crisis in a person’s life, it will be a powerful education tool.
The medium of Virtual Reality also allows for continual creation of new content to reinforce and continue the experience and the inspiration for at-risk participants.
THE PROPOSED SERIES:
The series will be created with a series of 6 Programs, with each separate episode dealing with a different aspect of suicide prevention and calling upon the latest and best practice in the suicide prevention skills training.
PROGRAM 1: INFINITE POSSIBILITIES
Come with us on a journey to remind us of how beautiful and positive life can be (episode also available as single elements for viewers to choose their own journey when instant escape is needed).
Launch program will have a total of 8 scenes from each of the four categories:
Vocational, Experiential, Connective and Imagine
PROGRAM 2: SURVIVORS
Interviews and testimonials from survivors of suicide.
Explaining how they survived and imparting crucial advice.
PROGRAM 3: ITS NOT ONLY YOUR LIFE
Interviews and testimonials from friends and families left behind, showing that the pain felt by a suicide victim is not ended, only transferred to those who love them best.
PROGRAM 4: BREAKING THROUGH THE GLASS CEILING
Interviews with people who have done amazing things in life. Things they never thought they could achieve. Inspire. In particular, people who have either thought of suicide in the past or have attempted suicide will be used to show the continuation of life and the possibilities that exist beyond the darkness.
PROGRAM 5: TOOLBOX
Arming viewers with researched advice and tools to get through life’s hard times.
First re-affirming the pain and validating the feelings – then providing tools to help deal with it.
For example, how to practice mindfulness, when and how to reach out for people, how important good diet is, etc.
PROGRAM 6: A-OK
An inspirational and empowering sequence to remind viewers how worthy and special they are and to remind them to have faith that with the passing of time
EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE OK.
The key premise behind the ‘Infinite Possibilities’ VR presentation is using Virtual reality to bring the viewer into worlds that they may not have imagined as options in their life.
These experiences are in themselves limitless – we aim to show the breadth and depth of life to a sufferer and to inspire them to lift their minds beyond the darkness and feelings of hopelessness that they are currently experiencing.
These experiences can be vocational based – showing pathways of future vocations and employment – or experiential – showing pleasant and exciting experiences as alternatives to thoughts of despair.
And these experiences can be experiences of connection – bringing cultural experiences to indigenous people – that reinforce their place in the world and their place within their cultural family.
The centerpiece of the series named would start with the viewer seated in a cgi virtual cinema.
From there, a presenter would be seen on screen talking about how it feels to be depressed.
As the presenter explains the sensations and perceptions of what it feels like to be depressed, the cinema surrounding the viewer would start to visually change and bring to life these descriptions.
As this visual and literal representation of depression comes to an end and from inside the cinema, clouds lined with sunshine will start to creep over the seats, the sound of birds singing will fade in, butterflies will start to swarm around the viewer.
Then suddenly, the cinema walls will collapse down and reveal a beautiful forest.
The inspirational journey through a long series of beautiful and inspiring scenes will begin from there with a sequence of highly engaging and motivating settings both incorporating CGI and Film, to show and remind people how beautiful life is.
In-turn empowering them to feel more positive about their lives.
Some suggested visual examples to be created within the Infinite Possibilities encounters:
Based around the premise of interesting and less-well known occupations.
Brew Master – Disney Animator – Video-Game Tester – Handmade shoemaker – Art Restorer.
Volcanologist – Body Painter – Feng Shui Consultant – Fragrance Chemist – Horse Trainer
A camp fire in the wilderness – Top of a mountain – Fly through space – Kayak on a lake – Magic carpet ride – Walk on a deserted beach – Dive off a Waterfall – On board a Sailboat – Skydiving – Relaxing in a forest
Visit a Maori Pa – Experience Australian Mega-fauna – Sit around an aboriginal camp-fire listening to elders – Learn Maori basket weaving – Travel in a Maori canoe discovering Aotearoa (New Zealand) – The journey to Australia from Africa – the heritage of the Aboriginal.
Watch Captain Cook land in New South Wales – Watch the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi and sit in the meeting house listening to the discussions that preceded the Treaty.
Be present at a Beethoven recital – Fly through of the Pyramids – Witness a Shakespeare performance- Be present at a Viking battle – Witness Kung Fu legends – Be present when Columbus lands in the New Word (from the point of view of the indigenous people)
Our project has one solid key aim to convey to viewers:
TO ILLUMINATE THE INFINITE POSSIBILITIES THAT AWAIT YOU.
The driving forces behind the project have both experienced the devastation and agony that results from death of a loved one to suicide.
Creative Director, Kristy Pearson, originally from New Zealand is a filmmaker with many years of experience in the documentary and television fields – including running an entire TV channel for the world’s largest documentary maker NHNZ.
Fueled by a passion for the creative arts, a profound love of people combined with a deep social consciousness, Kristy is keen to take her existing skills in filmmaking into the Virtual Reality space to mitigate the enormous death toll from suicide.
At the age of 15 her boyfriend died by suicide and since there was a lack of any existing material or tool at the time that could have reached him, she has looked for a method that would be able to show that there are worlds that exist beyond the dark shell of depression and that can reach the soul of a human being in despair.
Team Leader, Gavin Crombie, is also from New Zealand, but has been resident in China for almost 25 years. Gavin heads a company of some 100 people in the creative digital media field, including a strong CGI and Video based Virtual Reality, based on the HTC Vive platform.
A bestselling author, a speaker and New Zealand Government Trade Adviser, Gavin has written a number of articles about Virtual Reality (e.g. Selling Shovels in a Goldrush – The way to make money in the new ‘Experiential Marketing Technologies’ – VR/AR & MR) and has created, via his company, Digital Frontier, a number of commercially successful Virtual Reality based marketing tools.
Gavin has also experienced first-hand the devastation caused by suicide, when his girlfriend died by suicide when he was 19 years old. An experience that has remained with him for more than 40 years. In addition, Gavin, has had a lifelong struggle with depression himself, and witnessed his mother attempt suicide when he was 2 years old. The scars that were created at that point have been a constant goad to try and alleviate the misery of depression in others.
Gavin is dedicated and focused on making a difference and if by the Infinite Possibilities project, even one single life is saved, then these efforts will have succeeded.
Supporters, there is a large network of supporters for the project, drawn from many different areas of concern – ranging from the CEO of NHNZ (world’s largest documentary maker), Kyle Murdoch, to Carolyn Morgan who currently offers the LivingWorks program, which is the world leader in suicide intervention training, to a range of experienced clinicians through to ordinary people who want to make a difference.
The program will be distributed to the following list of venues, via the HTC Vive platform as an integrated package, using existing Suicide Intervention and Prevention programs.
- High Schools – both integrated into health classrooms and in respite areas where students can go to have time out. (i.e. counselor’s offices)
- Mental Health Inpatient Centers – Mental Health Crisis Triage Rooms – Respite Centers – Rehabilitation Facilities – Retirement Villages – Hospice Facilities
We need your help to make this happen – this whole program needs to be funded so we can get it into the hands of the people who really need it the most – maybe the person who needs this the most is you or maybe you know the person who right now needs a hand to hold. But without help, for some the darkness will not lift and for some the suffering will not end.