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Since the 1990s, VR lab research has consistently shown the value of VR in mental health. What's now holding it back? Drawing on the early lessons of setting up Phase Space, a start-up focused on using VR to improve student mental health, this talk will point to the importance of great content and real-world validation as a starting point for adoption. Moving VR out of the lab requires interdisciplinary collaboration between medical, technical, and creative industries. This talk will take a big-picture view of the VR industry and focus on the steps needed to achieve mainstream adoption.


Zillah Watson led the BBC's award-winning VR studio and is an expert on the commissioning, creation, and distribution of immersive content. She recently co-founded Phase Space with Katie Grayson, a start-up bringing together the best of the UK's creative, technical, and medical industries to use VR to bring a step change in mental health support. They are currently working in partnership with St George's University of London and Goldsmith's University of London to develop and test a VR experience to reduce stress and anxiety in students before exams. Zillah lectures in documentary and immersive storytelling at UCL, the London Interdisciplinary School, and Goldsmith's, University of London. She led research on the impact of VR storytelling with Professor Mel Slater at the BBC and was a visiting fellow at the Reuter's Journalism Institute, University of Oxford, where she authored 'VR for News: A New Reality'.

How to join

In order to attend, please email Alfie Abdul Rahman (

Event details

Bush House (S)5.01
Bush House
Strand campus, 30 Aldwych, London, WC2B 4BG