These are strange times. The disruption to our regular way of life and uncertainty about what might happen to us - both personally and professionally - over the coming weeks and months can take an emotional toll.
Many Pact members also run their own businesses and will be concerned for the wellbeing of their employees and freelancers during this challenging time. Thankfully, there are a number of organisations who you can turn to for guidance and support should you, or someone you know, need it...
The Government has issued guidance about how to look after your mental health and wellbeing during this pandemic, which includes advice about connecting with others, looking after your physical wellbeing, and managing difficult feelings, amongst other things.
The full guidance can be viewed here.
During these challenging times, it is natural for all of us to feel worried or anxious, but there are things we can all do to help ourselves and others, to prevent these feelings from becoming more serious.
We should continue to check up on friends, family and neighbours by phone or online and pursue the activities we are able to do from home and in line with guidance. By adopting a new routine, setting goals, eating healthily and maintaining physical activity, we can stay in good mental health today and tomorrow.”
Yvonne Doyle, Medical Director at Public Health England
Information from Mind
The Film and TV Charity
The Film and TV Charity is specifically concerned about the potential impact of coronavirus on people working in our industry.
They have put together an incredibly useful page of information which includes tips for mental wellbeing, managing anxiety, and industry-related activities to help you feel more connected during this period of isolation.
The Film and TV Charity 24 Hour Support Line is also open to anyone in the industry and is there to offer confidential advice around the clock. You can get in touch by phone, e-mail or online chat here.
They have also launched (in May 2020) an online mental health platform, delivered by Big White Wall, which is free and accessible for anyone who works behind the scenes in our industry. The platform is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is a safe space, where you can express your thoughts and concerns openly and anonymously. As well as receiving support in group or one-to-one chats you can also access guided self-help courses that cover a range of subjects from managing mental health problems such as depression and anxiety, as well as problem-solving and assertiveness training.
Free training and support from ITF ScreenSkills
ITF ScreenSkills is currently providing a free fast response package of support and training for freelancers and indies.
Understanding that mental health and wellbeing are key considerations during this unprecedented time, they're providing daily safe spaces to talk (facilitated by an ex-industry Mental Health First Aider), 1-2-1 spot coaching, remote working top tips, sessions on confidence, professional identity, skillset surgeries, and lots of pilates and yoga.
More will be added regularly and everything can be booked here.
British Psychological Society advice
The British Psychological Society has published advice on how employers and employees can prepare for the ‘new normal’ at work. To support transition to this ‘new normal’, the British Psychological Society COVID-19 Working Differently Group is developing psychologically informed resources which include advice, a staged model, and podcasts.
Find out more here.
BFI NETWORK guest blog post
Producer and psychotherapist Rebecca Day has offered her expert advice to others in the industry via a guest blog post on the BFI NETWORK website. Her article includes links to other sources of information and support.
Read it here.
CIPD and Simplyhealth recommendations
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and Simplyhealth recently published their Health and Well-being Survey at Work 2020 report.
In response to their findings, the CIPD and Simplyhealth are recommending employers do the following during and after the crisis:
- Support and guide their managers so that they feel equipped to have sensitive and supportive discussions with staff
- Remind managers about the importance of communicating regularly with their team and asking how they are.
- Encourage staff to practise self-care such as a healthy routine for diet, sleep and relaxation
- Promote their existing health and well-being benefits and support, for example signposting people to their counselling helpline.
Read their report in full here.
Federation of Small Businesses
The Federation of Small Businesses has shared a blog to provide tips and support for small business owners, which includes useful links to further support.
Read the blog post here.