A year after its launch, the Film and TV Charity’s Whole Picture Toolkit: for mentally healthy productions is being championed by an increasing number of leading organisations across the industry. After being successfully used on more than 70 productions in the last year, the Toolkit is now being rolled out across every new commission from Banijay UK, Specialist Factual commissions at BBC Content, cross-genre productions at Sky, and is also shortly to be trialled on Daytime Factual and Features commissions at Channel 4. Various productions made by ITV Studios are already using the Toolkit, and ITV’s Media and Entertainment division has embedded it into the commissioning process, with all third-party producers offered a Toolkit introduction or workshop.
Anna Mishcon, Whole Picture Toolkit Executive at the Film and TV Charity, said “There couldn’t be a more important time for Broadcasters and Producers to come together to tackle the mental health crisis that exists across our industry. The Whole Picture Toolkit’s online platform is full of a wealth of resources, a one stop shop that puts mental health and wellbeing at the heart of your production. Its aim is simple – to make sure every individual on every production is supported and heard.”
The Whole Picture Toolkit was conceived in response to the Charity’s 2019 Looking Glass Survey, which highlighted a mental health crisis in the industry. Launched in 2022 as part of the Charity’s Let’s Reset behaviour change campaign, which called on industry leaders to demonstrate positive change from the top down, the Whole Picture Toolkit is a central pillar in the Charity’s strategic approach to improving the industry’s mental health and wellbeing.
Covering pre-production, production, and post-production, the free, easy to implement, online resource was designed with the help of mental health and industry experts to give the industry the tools, guidance, and know-how to help mitigate against some of the pressures impacting mental health in production.
Banijay UK’s roll-out of the Toolkit on all of its commissions sees the super indie placing the mental health of employees at the heart of its productions. Bella Lambourne, Director of Human Resources and Operations at Banijay UK, said: “We are so grateful to the Film and TV Charity for designing this Toolkit, which has been a truly collaborative effort, and are proud that Banijay UK is the first production group to embed it across our productions. The precedents, tips, and advice that are provided through the Whole Picture Toolkit, as well the support provided by the Film and TV Charity team to help with implementation throughout a production, is a game changer. Working in tandem with our own training and our mental health first aiders across the business, we have many more tools to ensure the wellbeing our teams in what can be a fast-paced and demanding environment.”
BBC Public Service is piloting the Toolkit with Specialist Factual team across Natural History, Religion, History and Science commissions, with Dawn Beresford, Director of Talent, Commissioning at BBC Content, saying: “BBC Content is delighted to be piloting the Whole Picture Toolkit with our Specialist Factual Commissioners. The Toolkit is a one stop shop for the producers we work with to build mentally healthy productions. The BBC has a longstanding commitment to raising awareness of mental health issues through our programming and our Mental Health season this May, and I’m pleased that our pilot of the Toolkit will enable us build on this and do more to support wellbeing across the whole industry.”
After successfully using the Toolkit on seven productions in variety of genres, with five more currently in production, Sky’s Head of Production Operations, Claire Fone said of the resource: “The Whole Picture Toolkit has proven invaluable in encouraging open conversation around the mental health-related challenges that can be faced on productions. The guidance it offers has resulted in a shift in the collective approach, ensuring everyone working on production has the correct support and resource available. We have encouraged feedback from our production teams who have trialled the Toolkit and are proactively looking to implement it further within our commissioning process moving forward.”
ITV have used the Whole Picture Toolkit on a variety of productions to date, with David Osborn, Chief People Office at ITV, saying: “We’ve seen the Toolkit used across a number of our productions already, for example for ITV Studios, Multistory Media’s production of Project Icon for BBC three and The Garden’s 24 Hours in A&E for Channel 4. In M&E, every third-party producer across all genres, that comes through our commissioning process is encouraged and offered a Toolkit introduction/workshop and the majority of our commissioners have done the workshop too.”
Finally, following the news that Channel 4 has begun trialling the Toolkit across all Daytime and Features commissions, with the plan to roll it out further across genres, its Director of Commissioning Operations, Emma Hardy, added: “Channel 4 is committed to raising awareness of and challenging stigmas around mental health both on and off-screen, and the Whole Picture Toolkit is an excellent resource that provides vital tools to ensure we’re supporting people in production. We’re pleased to be trialling the toolkit across upcoming commissions, and we will continue to support the Film and TV Charity’s work to improve mental wellbeing in the industry.”
Over the next 12 months the Whole Picture Toolkit team, led by former BBC News Senior Head of Production, Anna Mishcon, will continue to engage with productions across film and TV to drive further engagement with and use of the mental health resource. Along with the Charity’s Toolkit Engagement Producers, Sophie Freeman and Kate Atkinson, Mishcon will continue to provide guidance and onboarding for production teams interested in piloting or implementing the Toolkit.
If you are a Commissioner, Director of Production, Head of Production, or Creative Director and are interested in using the Whole Picture Toolkit, and want to become part of the movement for positive mental health in the industry, get in touch with the team today via [email protected] or visit the website.
For more information or interview requests, please contact:
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