Actions you can take
Ahead of your senior team debrief meeting, make sure that you have made time to debrief with individuals in the team. Be brave and prepare to have honest conversations with your heads of department. Ask about their teams and how the project went.
For example, you could ask questions like:
- Are you working to squeezed budgets, unrealistic timelines and schedules?
- Could more mental health support have been in place for people?
- Did people in your team respond well to wellbeing conversations?
- Were there any gaps in knowledge or skills needed for a mentally healthy workplace?
- Did any other issues arise that might have had an impact on mental health?
- What do you think worked well/not so well?
If you have worked with a Mental Health First Aider or a psychologist, you might want to ask them for general feedback that doesn’t breach confidentiality. Senior leaders often want to see the positive impact of decisions they have made too, particularly if they have allocated time or budget. Make sure you talk about what went well, and how, for example, a flexible working arrangement that allowed a senior freelancer to return to work, or an email-and-phone-call downtime left the crew feeling refreshed.
Providing additional support can be relatively low cost but can have huge impact. We are aware that most budgets don’t contain provisions for mental health support, but we suggest trying to ringfence a line in the budget for resourcing this.
Follow this wellbeing handover guide for senior leaders to get the most out of your meeting. Have a virtual debrief. Being together in person is often helpful, but if that’s proving difficult, debriefs don’t need to be face-to-face. You can set up a virtual debrief so it’s easy and flexible for everyone to attend, including those who may have already moved on to new projects. It’s not ideal, but surveys or an email debrief is possible too if people are squeezed for time.
By asking them to recommend this Toolkit to other productions they commission, support can be extended to future productions. If you have specific feedback on budget requirements that can support mental health, and meet people’s access needs requirements on future productions, share it now at email@example.com.