Smashing it at work, or is work smashing you? That is the question the Film & Television Charity is getting people to ask themselves.
The charity has launched the first ever industry-wide study, The Looking Glass, to get an insight into the wellbeing and mental health of those working in the TV and film industry and how could they be supported better.
The launch is accompanied by a short film titled Smashed? starring Alex Reece, which has been created by music video director Tim Pope and voiced by actor Adrian Lester.
The survey aims to use the experiences shared, to create tangible changes within the workplace and help deal with the stress and strain many industry workers face, often due to the predominantly freelance nature of their roles.
A similar study conducted in Australia in 2015 showed that 44% of people working in the country’s entertainment industry had moderate to severe anxiety, a figure 10 times higher than for the general population. The number of people experiencing depression was five times higher than the national average.
Alex Pumfrey, CEO of the Film & Television Charity, said: “We know how much people love and are proud of their work in the film and TV industry, but the highs and lows can take their toll. This is why we are now working with industry to face this issue. It’s time to establish a robust evidence base and piece together a true reflection of what’s really going on.”
Pumfrey told an RTS event in May: "We ignore [mental ill health], we enable it and we legitimise it."
She added: "Mental health has been ignored as a serious issue in our industry for far too long."
The survey comes as the result of insights gathered from over 2,000 calls to the Film & Television Charity’s industry support line, which has offered advice on issues such as debt, depression and harassment.
The anonymous survey will analyse three main points:
- How the prevalence of mental health problems within TV and film compares with the general population, as well as workforces across other UK industries.
- How the specific characteristics of the industry could be adversely affecting workers’ wellbeing.
- The perceived barriers to effectively managing the mental health and wellbeing of those working in the industry, as well as how people can be best supported.
The survey will run until July and the full results will be published in Autumn 2019.
Click here to take the survey.