Actions to take
Line managers need a range of specific skills to perform their roles successfully and the Film and TV Charity’s Looking Glass survey highlights that access to relevant training is vital for them to support teams appropriately.
Training provision for line managers can include:
- ScreenSkills training, which includes a leadership course for HoDs as well as disability awareness courses.
- Training from commissioners or studios, which is sometimes offered on specific productions – so it can be worth checking this if you think your production needs it.
- Bespoke training, which can be commissioned from a recognised provider.
In partnership with the Film and TV Charity, ScreenSkills have also published an industry framework to help employers and line managers develop mental health training programmes for their productions: Mental health training: guidance for employers.
Ensuring managers are well equipped to support their teams takes the impetus off those who need support, leading to happier, healthier crew, better content and a better bottom line.
You can then assess whether more production-wide mental health awareness training might be needed.
Accredited mental health training frameworks include:
- Mental Health First Aid: MHFA England trains people in how to identify, understand and help those experiencing mental health issues
- i-act: Offers a range of mental health and wellbeing training accredited by the Royal College of Psychiatrists
- Mind: Has a range of mental health training and mental health first aider courses for businesses and individuals
- Nuco: Runs regular First Aid for Mental Health courses across the country
Other relevant training might include raising awareness of some of the contributing factors to poor mental health, such as issues relating to:
- Bullying and harassment
- Diversity and inclusion
Ensure team members have time to complete training, as it will help to develop an open and safe production environment.
Point people towards free online e-learning, such as the ScreenSkills modules that include tackling harassment and bullying at work, diversity and inclusion and an introduction to mental health awareness at work.
On larger-scale productions, your budget may allow for bespoke, face-to-face training.
In the following guide, you can:
- See what to consider for your mental health training plan
- Identify key areas where training is relevant in film and TV
It’s important to provide follow-on support where needed.
Ensure team members know who to talk to if issues do arise, such as:
- Their line manager
- A counselling support service
- A wellbeing facilitator (if you have one)
- The free 24/7 Film and TV Support Line on 0800 054 0000
Share risks identified in the production’s mental health risk assessment (MHRA) to give team members an idea of relevant potential training.
For example, this could include:
- Working with vulnerable contributors
- Managing boundaries
- Navigating difficult conversations
Consider extending your training provision to include mental health first aid or even role-based training, such as production manager training, if your budget allows.
In this video, Isla talks about introducing mentally healthy ways of working and the benefits of mental health training.
- Integrating production-specific elements of the Toolkit to make them ways of working.
- Running mental health training sessions for management and individuals.
- Training team members to act as mental health first aiders.