The BBC, ITV and Channel 5 owner ViacomCBS Networks UK are among the major companies backing a year-long campaign to challenge and improve attitudes towards mental health in the industry.
The Film & TV Charity today launches its ‘Let’s Reset’ campaign, which initially aims to raise awareness of mental health, before moving on to showcasing tools and initiatives designed to support people working in TV and film.
These will include Bectu and Bafta’s guidance on bullying, harassment and racism, the Coalition for Change’s freelance charter, ScreenSkills’ training programmes and the campaigningwork of union Bectu.
The charity said it wanted to encourage “open discussion to challenge unhealthy behaviours” and promote its own suite of support services, including recently-launched freelancer hub and 24-hour support line, as well as individual corporate efforts.
The campaign builds on the charity's Looking Glass survey in 2020, which found that nine in ten of the 2000 film and TV freelancers polled had experienced a mental health problem.
The F&TC has produced a toolkit for businesses that includes downloadable materials to demonstrate their commitment to tackling mental health, encourage others to take action and direct their workforce to places where they can get help.
F&TC chief executive Alex Pumfrey said the campaign aimed to focus the industry on “putting our mental health centre-stage and committing to changing a culture that impacts us all”.
She added: “Unhealthy working hours, bad practices, bullying, racism, harassment, and ableism are too common in an industry we all love, and all of us have a role to play in speaking up to create change.”
ViacomCBS Networks UK chief content officer Ben Frow said: “After a year like no other and with rising poor mental health a growing concern across our sector, we applaud and support the Film and TV Charity’s important and timely campaign.
“The talent operating within our industry is what makes it unique, consistently delivering the world’s very best in creative excellence, so it is absolutely vital that we work in unison to foster the healthiest, most equitable environment which empowers everybody to do their best work and thrive.”
Disney, Sky, BBC Studios, Banijay UK, IMG and Warner Bros Productions are also backing the campaign.