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Film and TV Charity finds “a mental health crisis within the UK film and TV industry”

Film and TV Taskforce on Mental Health established

The Film and TV Charity has found “a mental health crisis within the UK film and television industry.”

The UK charity reported that 87 per cent of those working in the industry have experienced a mental health problem; higher than in the overall UK population (65 per cent), prompting the formation of a taskforce backed by studios, broadcasters, production companies and cinema groups.

Conducted by the Work Foundation, the survey of 9,000 industry professionals also revealed:

  • Workers are twice as likely to experience anxiety compared with the national average
  • Workers are three times as likely to have self-harmed compared with the national average
  • Over half of workers have considered taking their own life (compared with one-fifth nationally) and one in 10 have attempted to do so

Industry leaders agreed an initial £3 million commitment to fund an urgent action plan, known as The Whole Picture Programme, which will launch in April. The Film and TV Taskforce on Mental Health will work closely with experts in mental health. The action plan will include an enhanced 24/7 Film and TV Support Line and an industry-wide behaviour change campaign.

Alex Pumfrey, chief executive of The Film and TV Charity, said: “I’m pleased to be working with the members of the new Film and TV Taskforce on Mental Health to spearhead a movement for change. Devastating though the findings from our research are, we firmly believe there is cause for optimism.

“As a cohort, we are committed to working closely together to address the widespread issues, building an industry that has ‘great work’; where people are much better supported, in which bullying and the stigma of mental health is relegated to history; and where working practices take account of the very human nature of our work. As the charity supporting the film, TV and cinema workforce we often hear the stories that others don’t. We can no longer shy away from the need for real change.”

“The Film and TV Charity’s research has revealed the scale of the mental health crisis in the film, TV and cinema industry – and a collaborative and industry-led approach to tackling this is crucial,” added Paul Farmer CBE, chief executive of Mind. “I am totally behind the principle that ‘it will only work if we do this together’ and am really pleased to see such widespread and positive engagement from the industry. At Mind we look forward to working with the Film and TV Taskforce to make a real difference for the mental health of the industry.”