Mental Health Survey Relaunched as U.K. Industry Emerges From Pandemic

The U.K.’s Film and TV Charity has relaunched its Looking Glass Survey, two years after the 2019 survey revealed a mental health emergency in the industry.

In the ensuing period, the industry has dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic and the continued effects of systemic discrimination, bullying and harassment.

The charity is calling on everyone who works in the industry to complete the survey and share it with colleagues. Results will enable the charity to adapt accordingly the £3 million ($4.25 million) Whole Picture Program that was launched as a response to the original research.

The 2019 survey revealed that 87% of film and TV industry workers surveyed reported having experienced poor mental health — much higher than the 65% U.K. national average — and more than half (55%) reported having considered ending their life.

In response, the charity is piloting a “Toolkit for Mentally Healthy Productions” with a range of small and large production companies, a flexible set of guidelines that puts wellbeing at the centre of all productions made in the U.K., and later this year will launch a behavior change campaign.

The 2019 report also found that 82% of respondents had experienced or witnessed bullying behaviour. In March this year, the charity launched a suite of Bullying Pathway services, designed to offer expert guidance and resources to support individuals who have witnessed or experienced bullying, harassment or discrimination.

The charity also runs the free and confidential 24-hour Film and TV support line, providing specialist mental health, legal and financial guidance and aid.

Alex Pumfrey, CEO of The Film and TV Charity, said: “Our 2019 Looking Glass survey confirmed what many already knew — that people working in the film, TV and cinema industry are disproportionately more likely to suffer from poor mental health. With the events of the last 12 months having increased the pressure for many, we are asking every colleague from across the industry complete the survey again, or for the first time. As well as acting as a crucial barometer of the wellbeing of our workforce, it will help us to design the support services people need, and will contribute to the delivery of meaningful, systemic change that we know will benefit everyone.”

The Film and TV Charity supports the predominantly freelance 200,000-strong workforce in the U.K. film, television and cinema industry.

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