Why should employers invest in mental health?

Why should employers invest in mental health?
Image: King Lear © Ed Miller, Playground Entertainment 2018

The 2020 Looking Glass Report commissioned by the Film and TV Charity reported that nine in 10 workers in film and TV have experienced a mental health issue. It is clearly time to put mental health and wellbeing centre-stage and ensure a safer, happier and healthier industry.

What’s more, if you want to attract and retain the best and most diverse talent, create compelling award-winning content and be a leading player in the global moving image industry, you must address the root causes of poor mental health in all working practices.

Legal responsibility

Employers have a legal responsibility to ensure the physical and psychological safety of the people who work for them. This includes employees, freelancers, contractors, visitors and members of the public.

Find out more:

  • Bectu has guidance on employers’ responsibility and the rights of workers.
  • The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) provides guidance on the law and information to help create a safe working environment. The HSE’s Working Minds Campaign brings together resources for organisations to support better mental health of their workers.
  • ISO45003 outlines an international standard for occupational health and safety management, to ensure psychologically safe working conditions.
  • Mental Health at Work provides resources and tools curated by Mind to help increase understanding and best practice for good mental health at work.
  • Mark Milsome Foundation health and safety training (please note this is an introductory course providing basic awareness, more training may be required for those with on-set health and safety responsibilities).

Benefitting your business

A safer and happier environment means higher employee loyalty and retention, avoiding unnecessary recruitment costs, and enables you to attract the best talent.

The 2020 Deloitte report Mental health and employers: refreshing the case for investment found a strong financial case in favour of employers investing in mental health, with an average return on investment (ROI) of £5 for every £1 invested.

The Deloitte report further found that higher ROIs were achieved by organisations which invest in large-scale culture change, focus on prevention and building resilience in their workers, and tailor support for those at higher risk.

It states that more could be done to raise awareness and provide adequate, appropriate training with formalised support. This is especially true in smaller companies where workers may be at greater risk.

Better mental health in film and TV

Working in the film and TV industry brings special job satisfaction that comes from stimulating and creative work, supportive colleagues, bearing witness, making a difference, holding people to account, feeling valued and representing the society you live in.

To be an authentic and accountable voice in this world you must look after yourselves and your workers first. Only then can you truly make an impact.

Around half of workers in the culture sector are self-employed freelancers. You must ensure that training to support good mental health is made available to all. By supporting all of your workers, you can develop a more resilient, diverse, productive and financially stable industry.

By working together to develop trusted training programmes, you reduce the pressure on those in need of support and provide a safer working environment.

Find out more about the Film and TV Charity’s work on championing better mental health for everyone working in film, TV and cinema as part of the Let’s Reset campaign over 2021-2022.