Almost nine out of ten UK film and TV workers have experienced a mental health issue, reveals poll

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17th February 2020 17:36 - Media and PR

Almost nine out of ten UK film and TV workers have experienced a mental health issue: A survey of people working in the film and TV industry has found that almost nine out of ten have experienced a mental health issue. This is compared with 65% of workers in other UK industries. 

The survey of almost 9,400 industry professionals working across research and writing, casting, production, broadcasting and distribution also found that TV and film workers are twice as likely to suffer from anxiety than people who do not work in the business. 

The Looking Glass survey, commissioned by The Film and TV Charity (formerly the Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund), is the first of its kind, taking an indepth look at the industry and those who work within it. It found that a quarter (24%) of workers have self-harmed (three times higher than UK average figures for other industries - 7%), while, alarmingly, more than half the respondents polled had considered suicide - compared to a fifth of people nationally. It also found that one in ten (10%) had attempted to take their own life (compared to 7% nationally). 

The research found that nearly two thirds of film and TV workers have thought about getting out of the industry due to concerns over mental health, with just 7% saying they would feel comfortable discussing a mental health issue with their manager. This percentage was even lower for freelance workers (2%), of whom make up the majority of the workforce. Of those who did open up about their mental health issue, little over a quarter (28%) said that disclosing such information helped their situation, with the majority saying it 'made no difference' (54%) and one in twenty (5%) saying it made the situation worse. 

The research also asked questions around conditions and culture, with 82% of survey participants saying they had experienced or witnessed bullying, with two-thirds of women experiencing bullying compared to half the male workers surveyed. 

The survey offered a free text box for respondents to share their experiences in more detail, with 1,569 respondents taking the opportunity to do so. 

Read the full Looking Glass report



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