We are trialling a new way for creative practitioners and academic researchers to work together on an immersive technology for good collaboration.
The four fellowships are exploring the following areas:
Project 1: Adult emotional and psychological difficulties
Project 2: Youth and family mental health
Project 3: Self-compassion
Project 4: Mental health in schools
In the UK, one in four adults and one in ten children experience some form of mental illness. Numbers of those seeking help are soaring while healthcare providers struggle to cope with demand. In this context, approaches that promote good mental health practices, and prevent the development of mental health conditions, are increasingly important.
This is why StoryFutures, the Creative Industries R&D catalyst, have partnered with Nesta to develop a brand new immersive economy and wellbeing initiative. Our cohort of newly appointed Immersive Fellowships will be exploring how experiential storytelling and psychological expertise can be combined to support better mental health and wellbeing. Four immersive companies from our cluster region will collaborate with Royal Holloway, University of London’s world-renowned Psychology Department and experts in depression, emotional processing and family mental health to develop and build a series of early prototypes to help in the prevention of certain types of conditions.
The Fellowships will provide each company with £20,000 to fund their work and they will benefit from significant support in areas such as impact measurement, business modelling, creative editorial guidance and audience insight from teams at Nesta and Royal Holloway.
Wokingham-based digital content studio Austella will be working with academic partner and expert in emotional development Dr. Dawn Watling to develop and pilot an immersive wellbeing application based on the psychological principles of psychoacoustics and psychovisuals.
Immersive healthcare experts and Richmond-based studio Cassette are partnered with clinical psychologist Dr Olga Luzon and will be exploring the use of virtual reality (VR) as an experiential tool to enhance interoception.
Guildford-based games company Play Well for Life will be working with a leading expert in child and young people's mental health, Professor Helen Pote, on an immersive board game that will facilitate storytelling and game-play as a way to learn wellbeing skills.
VR Revival create uplifting social experiences in VR for currently under-served audiences and they will be working with an expert in emotional processing, Dr Ines Mende, on a VR application to help with feelings of distress, inadequacy and failure through self-compassion.