Healthy Headspace: Nonprofit uses virtual reality to relieve stress

RICHLAND, WA - When a local family lost their son to suicide, parents created a nonprofit called "Blessed by Kess." Their focus is to promote mental health awareness.

Parents offer a healthy alternative to help manage stress and anxiety in 30 minutes or less in a spa setting. "Chill Encounters" is a relaxation center that uses a high-end, luxury massage chair accompanied by virtual reality scenes.

The story of "Blessed by Kess" started with the loss of their son, Kess, who died by suicide on December 22, 2018.

Kess' father, Terry said it is not comfortable to talk about suicide, especially as a parent who has experienced it. Terry said there is a stigma that goes with it.

"People don't wake up one morning and say, 'I have suicidal ideation.' It all starts at a level way before that and we find that that level is just in your everyday stress and how you manage the stress in your life or throughout your day," Terry said.

Their goal is to reduce the level of stress in teens and adults so that what happened to his family does not happen to others.

To lower one's stress the person will sit in massage chair and will be given a "mental massage" or mental relaxation. Through virtual reality, helping them relax and clear their mind.

Terry said he hopes it will help people think clearly about the choices they are making. One day, he wants to bring "Chill Encounter" to schools and host corporate wellness days.

"Blessed by Kess" is partnering with Amerigroup for Suicide Prevention Week on September 6 through 12. They will host an open house for four days. People will have the opportunity to see the facility.  Coupons will be given out for a free encounter.

If you would like to try the virtual reality immersive relaxation, " by Kess" is also offering a back-to-school special. Starting on September 1, parents and students can use the code "Zoom2School" to get 50% off until September 12. With the discount, the cost is $12.50.

For more information about " by Kess" or "Chill Encounter," you can visit their website at blessedbykess.org.

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