What a mentally healthy production looks like

A mentally healthy production is one where people feel listened to, prioritised and supported, receive the training and tools needed to do their job and feel good doing it.

Working in film and TV production can be creative, fast-paced and exciting, but jobs in the industry can come with pressure, irregular working hours and demanding schedules.

On a mentally healthy production, efforts are made to reduce stress – work demands are reasonable, crew members have a degree of control over the way they work, and everyone understands their responsibilities.

Decisions that affect crew are clearly communicated and teams are given opportunities to input into, influence and offer feedback on any changes.


Key factors in creating mentally healthy productions

All production companies have a legal duty to protect workers from stress – which can lead or contribute to poor mental health and wellbeing – but often the mental health of teams comes too low down on the priority list.

Mental health risk assessment (MHRA)

A mentally healthy production considers risks to the wellbeing and mental health of its crew – such as working long hours or with sensitive material – by completing a mental health risk assessment, to identify potential stressors and actions to control them.

Wellbeing plan

A mentally healthy production creates a wellbeing plan at the earliest point in production.

This outlines its mental health and wellbeing support, alongside any related policies – such as those on bullying, harassment and discrimination – and any reasonable adjustments needed to meet individual needs.

Leadership discussions

Mental health and wellbeing support should also be discussed with funders – whether commissioners or broadcasters – and at greenlight meetings.

If leaders put the right systems in place and set up working conditions to mitigate risks of stress, and therefore mental health, then it’s not all on the individual to look after themselves and simply “tough it out”.


Benefits of mentally health productions

Valuing wellbeing – by embedding mentally healthy working practices early on in a production – helps retain and support talent.

A people-centred approach benefits everyone, and the creative results are better for it.

Employees take fewer sick days, report lower levels of stress and burnout, and productivity goes up.

In short, people work best when they are happy, supported and working together towards a common goal.


Achieving our aim together

Mental health and wellbeing should be ingrained in our decision-making at every production stage, and needs to be everyone’s responsibility.

Change can be gradual and doesn’t need to be expensive – we can all start doing this today, just by adjusting our mindset at work.

The importance of simply talking about mental health openly and offering a listening ear can’t be underestimated.

Let’s start changing our industry.


Get started with our Toolkit

Brought to you by

This toolkit is created by people within the industry to help you place mental health at the heart of your production, whatever size it is or stage you’re at.