The Film and TV Charity’s Looking Glass ’22 survey has reported a small but significant shift in the industry’s mental health and wellbeing.
The Looking Glass Survey provides an industry-wide review of the state of mental health and wellbeing in the film and television sectors.
The vast majority - 80% - of the 2,000 respondents taking part in the survey agreed that they sensed a positive change to the industry’s culture and behaviours - a notable shift when compared to the shocking results seen in the Charity’s flagship 2019 research.
However, The Film and TV Charity said that many of the improvements indicated in Looking Glass ’22 are slight, underlining that the industry is at the beginning of a much longer journey to better support its workforce.
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It reported a small improvement in mental wellbeing scores, from 19.3 to 19.7 on the Short Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale, a measure of a population’s mental wellbeing. This is, however, still down on the UK average which stands at 23.6.
There was also a reduction in those reporting ‘poor’ mental health, from 29% in 2021 to 24% in 2022.
Fewer respondents considered leaving the industry due to mental health concerns, down to 60% from 65% in 2021
Respondents to the survey noted that working conditions and feelings of job security are improving, but that extreme working hours, although decreasing, remain high. 75% also confirmed that future income is a key concern as the cost-of-living crisis continues to pose a real threat to financial and mental wellbeing.
While many recognised that the industry is becoming better equipped to provide support, 52% also agreed that better line management will be critical to improving wellbeing in the long term.
Reports of bullying, harassment, and discrimination have dropped from 53% in 2021 to 46% in 2022, although the survey also recognises that many do not report incidences when they happen, and 45% of respondents in management roles identified that they do not feel appropriately skilled to deal with complaints when they are made.
“Although the picture is a complicated one, the latest Looking Glass Survey results show that positive change can be achieved,” said Alex Pumfrey, CEO at the Film and TV Charity.
“In the period since 2019 we have seen a concerted effort by many across the industry to improve on a pretty bleak situation and it is heartening to see that some of that effort is starting to pay dividends, with attitudes and overall mental health scores beginning to move in the right direction. That said, the work was begun from a very low bar and interventions like our Bullying Advice Service, The Whole Picture Toolkit for mentally healthy productions, and our behaviour change campaign should be regarded as an opening salvo.”
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