Actions you can take
Once you’ve discussed and agreed your approach to mental health, make sure that your whole team knows about it. Ideally, this would happen in the production meeting that takes place prior to shooting. Planning how to communicate to everyone might be easy on a small production, but when it’s a large project, check heads of department are fully briefed to discuss with their teams.
The people in these roles can say a few words once the project begins, to remind everyone why their mental wellbeing is important. It’s not just what is said, but who says it, that matters. They must role model the behaviour they want to see on set. See Line Producer, Sara Huxley tell us how the message was communicated on her production.
Crew are used to receiving memos about schedules, locations, scripts, overtime and rest days, but a wellbeing memo is a refreshing reminder that mental health support is available. Download this example of a wellbeing memo to help you create one for your team.
This could be promoting the importance of taking breaks on call sheets, adding a message to email footers or scripts acknowledging that shoots can take their toll and reminding people to look after themselves, or a regular wellbeing text.
Remind your team that they can speak to someone about their concerns and keep sharing details about support services. Keep in mind regular check-ins with team members about reasonable adjustments, and other needs, because people’s needs can change over time. Make sure they know that any conversations will be treated confidentially, unless there are concerns about their safety or the safety of someone else. See this guide to talking to your teams about mental health for helpful advice.