Members of the Film and TV Charity’s Mental Health Taskforce have renewed their support for its ongoing strategy to make work better for the industry’s 200,000+ workforce.
Organisations including BBC Studios, BBC, Channel 4, IMG, ITV, Sky and The Walt Disney Company have reaffirmed their commitment to championing the Charity’s work after its initial urgent response to the 2019 Looking Glass Survey, which showed that nine in 10 people working behind the scenes in film, television, and cinema had experienced poor mental health, came to a close. Other organisations from across the industry are expected to follow suit as the Charity works to ensure everyone working in film, TV, and cinema can access the support that is available to them while also continuing to make the case for culture change from the top down.
Over two years to September 2022 the Charity and its partners drove the delivery of The Whole Picture Programme, which saw the launch of:
- A confidential Bullying Advice Service accessible via the Film and TV Support Line
- The Freelancer Wellbeing Hub to provide support to freelancers.
- The Whole Picture Toolkit for Mentally Healthy Productions, a free online resource to embed mental health and wellbeing in all productions.
- Let’s Reset, a behaviour change campaign and manifesto supported by leaders recognising that the impetus for change must come from the top down.
The most recent Looking Glass ’22 report showed that while 80 per cent of respondents felt a positive shift in attitudes towards mental health, only 11 per cent agreed that the industry is a mentally healthy place to work, underlining a need for continued meaningful action that has been endorsed by the continuation and development of the Mental Health Taskforce. Interventions launched since September 2022 will sit alongside the Charity’s continued focus on social and financial wellbeing as part of its core support service.
Alex Pumfrey, CEO at the Film and TV Charity, said: “The Mental Health Taskforce has been instrumental in helping us to develop vital new services to support better mental health across the film, TV, and cinema industry. The 2022 Looking Glass Survey shows that there is plenty of scope to believe that things are changing for the better, but it is also clear that there is still much more work to be done before colleagues feel properly and wholly supported.
“That is why we are so pleased that so many members of the Taskforce have pledged to continue the important work we have committed to by helping us to drive awareness of our support, advocating for change, and by using their considerable influence. Our ambitious vision for a happier, healthier industry can only be delivered with the support of businesses from across the industry, so we give sincere thanks to those continuing this journey with us as we continue to build relationships across the corporate and independent sectors.”
Emma Loach, Commissioning Editor at the BBC, said: “The BBC is really encouraged and impressed by the work the Film and TV Charity has already completed and the impact it is beginning to have on the industry. It is urgent that this incredibly important work continues to help build a healthier industry where all feel welcome, safe, and able to do their best work.”
Lisa Hardy, Director of HR at BBC Studios Productions, said: “Continuing to support the Film and TV Charity in leading change across our industry was not a difficult decision. BBC Studios has worked hard over the last few years to not only signpost the support available to our teams, but also to create environments where leaders take accountability for ensuring people feel safe, included, and able to seek help and support when needed. The work of the Charity is fundamental to improving our industry and we look forward to working together further to improve the lives of all those in our industry.”
Emma Hardy, Channel 4’s Director of Commissioning Operations, said: “The welfare and wellbeing of the production teams working on our commissions is of paramount importance to Channel 4. We have taken steps to ensure people do not suffer in silence, we require all Channel 4 productions to highlight our Speak Up facility on the front page of call sheets so anyone can escalate concerns in confidence, and we recommend that productions use the Whole Picture Toolkit to encourage mentally healthy working practices. But much more action is needed which is why we are determined to support the Film and TV Charity in its mission to introduce genuine culture change across the industry.”
Lee Jury, Senior Vice President of Studio Marketing, Disney EMEA, said: “The brilliant work of the Film and TV Charity in supporting and improving the mental health of our industry has to continue, so we are more than happy to renew our support as part of the charity’s Taskforce. Whilst things are changing for the better, there is still so much more we can all do, so we are proud to join hands with our industry peers to continue championing better mental health for all.”
Kate Best, VP, Head of Production at IMG Productions, said: “IMG continues to support the movement for change across the industry, putting mental health at the forefront of everything we do. Initiatives like the Charity’s Whole Picture Toolkit, which calls for mentally healthy productions, will help shape the culture and bring accountability around best practice in our daily working lives.”
David Osborn, Chief People Officer, ITV, said: “Making great television is a testament to the talented teams both on and off screen. Our people are the heartbeat of what we do and so their wellbeing and mental health will always be a top priority. ITV is proud to support the Film and TV Charity, which through their research, is educating the industry and supporting us all to review our mental health measures and come up with new ways to ensure people are looked after.”
Luke Seraphin, Head of Diversity and Inclusion for Sky Content and Sky Studios, said: “At Sky we aim to lead change in our industry, something which the work of the Film and TV Charity is integral to the delivery of. We are proud to renew our support for the invaluable work of the Charity. Through this partnership we hope to continue to embed best practice in the sector and to move forward important conversations around mental health and wellbeing.”
For more information please contact:
Mike Hird, Head of Marketing and Communications:
Bethan Davies Wykes, Communications Manager: