Mini Guide 1

Agree a wellbeing plan

What you need to know

It’s time to plan your production’s approach to mental health, make key decisions about how to support your team, and actively set out your intentions for the culture of the production. Review your project as a whole, your shooting schedule and script, if you have one, and think about what challenges the team might encounter.

For example, are you working with sensitive content, e.g., making a documentary about violent crime or a film about bereavement? Or does the schedule involve working long hours, in remote locations or being away for long periods of time? Once you’ve identified potential challenges, this is the time to put a plan in place with the help of your senior team.

We encourage productions to think about ring-fencing a line in the budget for providing mental health and wellbeing support and to make any  required by staff and crew.

This is the moment you can bring senior leaders together, including commissioners, production executives and heads of department, to agree the mental health support and mitigations that should be in place before filming starts. This can help you jointly agree the wellbeing approach for your production with the senior team. It could include listing the key support needed or available, any policies and procedures and the production’s values.

It’s important to remind senior team members that mental health is everyone’s responsibility. They can make a significant impact by considering the ways their decision making can impact their team’s wellbeing and by helping to normalise conversations about mental health from the outset. Talking openly about mental health can really help set the tone and identify any obvious issues that might come up.

If your production is further down the line, you can still carve out time to discuss what mental health support is available and raise awareness with heads of department, encouraging them to think about how certain decisions may affect mental health and what they can do to mitigate the risks.

Actions you can take