Updated: Oct 8
It’s time to turn the #lightsonmentalhealth
Mental Health has been a taboo topic for far too long and the silence is costly. The entertainment industry in particular lags behind other industries in the United States in prioritizing this issue. The Covid19 Pandemic has highlighted how important access to mental health services has been for all of us. Additionally, the #metoo movement has increased awareness regarding the importance of caring for performers’ safety onset in order to avoid traumatization. The time is NOW for collective action to advocate for better mental health support and access for performers in the United States.
Why does this matter?
The Film and TV Charity of the United Kingdom released a report in February of 2020 the first major study of mental health and film titled the "Looking Glass." The report released findings from a survey of 9,399 professionals from the film and television industry and the findings are astounding:
87% of respondents reported experiencing a mental health problem at some point in their life compared with 65% of the general population
64% of respondents had experienced depression compared with 42% of the general population
24% of respondents reported that they had deliberately harmed themselves (17% higher than the general population)
More than half the sample considered taking their life, compared with one in five nationally.
The report went on to cite specific conditions that contributed to the rates of diminished mental well being, including:
long work hours
decreased work-life balance
bullying and intimidating on sets
lack of support when working with distressing or challenging content
There has not been research done in the United States, however we can assume that our data would look similar.
If this matters to you, there are steps you can take today!
Listen to the Lights On! Mental Health Podcast to join the conversation!
Join your union and connect with union leaders to share your concerns.
Speak up when you see bullying and intimidation.
Talk openly about mental health. The more we talk on it, the less power stigma will have.
Take care of your own mental health. Seek support if you need it. By modeling our own self-care, we can inspire others to care for themselves too!