Training is a great way to address some of the industry-specific factors that contribute to poor mental health on productions.
Embedding mental health awareness into training delivered to your teams boosts your opportunities to create a safe, positive and productive environment.
What to consider when creating your training plan
There are many ways to develop the skills and tools necessary to manage the mental health and wellbeing of everyone on your production.
- Formal training
- Peer support
- Continuing professional development
Explore a blended approach to learning to best support the needs of the production and each team member.
Consider the following four factors when reviewing your training needs:
- What do you need on your production, appropriate to your scale and context, to ensure everyone’s psychological safety?
- What kind of support do you need to offer?
- Have crew members completed previous training?
- Would a refresher or follow-on course be suitable for them?
Discover how to create a relevant, holistic and industry-specific mental health training plan by using the UK-wide industry framework from ScreenSkills and the Film and TV Charity: Mental Health Training Guidance for Employers.
Key mental health training areas for film and TV
Leadership and management training
Leadership and management training is a vital part of equipping anyone who oversees a team.
As crew members move into managerial positions, it’s essential to prepare them for their role responsibilities and duty of care.
Relevant training includes:
- Leadership in mental health awareness, such as the ScreenSkills course: Mental health awareness for heads of department.
- Communication skills for difficult conversations and mediation, such as these ScreenSkills courses: How to have difficult conversations at work and Giving Feedback: Production Management Focus.
- Fair recruitment, including best practice and legal responsibilities.
- Understanding reasonable adjustments, including considering the needs of Disabled and Neurodivergent people – such as flexible working.
Health and safety training
Health and safety training must be undertaken by all crew for both their physical and psychological wellbeing.
This might include:
- Introduction to Mental Health Awareness at Work from ScreenSkills.
- Understanding legal rights and responsibilities, including risk assessments, such as Bectu’s online course, which is accredited by the Institution of Occupational Safety & Health: Creative Industries Safety Passport (CRISP).
- Understanding policy and everyone’s responsibilities around the Equality Act and anti-discrimination.
- Understanding policy and everyone’s responsibilities around safeguarding.
Inclusive culture at work
An inclusive culture at work is essential to creating a happy, safe and more productive working environment.
Help your crew to understand how a lack of knowledge regarding personal lived experiences, or a lack of confidence in addressing thoughtless behaviour, might impact individuals and productions in harmful and possibly discriminatory ways.
Areas to consider are:
- How to be an active bystander active bystander – a person who witnesses and challenges inappropriate or threatening behaviour. Close
- Addressing unconscious bias
- Tackling harassment and bullying at work
- Understanding the impact of microaggressions microaggressions – brief and common daily verbal, behavioural and environmental communications – whether intentional or unintentional – which transmit hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to a target person because they belong to a stigmatised group. Close
- Disability awareness training
Arrange production-specific skills training for certain roles or responsibilities – know what will be expected from individuals and check appropriate training is provided.
For example, production-specific training could relate to sensitive content, the safe management of productions or certain activities, such as advanced driving skills or using unfamiliar equipment.
Refresher courses are a good idea, too.
- Topic-specific courses in ScreenSkills’ training and opportunities directory.
- Appropriate support when working in hazardous environments or with sensitive content and vulnerable contributors vulnerable contributors – contributors who are vulnerable may have particular needs according to their physical, emotional or mental state at the time of recording and afterwards. Close . This might include clinical sessions and peer support moderated by a trained professional.
- Download Trauma & Journalism: A Practical Guide from the Dart Centre and look up their training offer for production teams working with distressing content.
- Including a training session, if needed, with an intimacy coordinator intimacy coordinator – a practitioner who supports all cast and crew with the intimate content across the arc of a production for TV, film and theatre. Close on set.
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