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Mental Health In The Workplace: Film & TelevisionBy Vandana Thanki
Working in the film and television industry is an exciting and rewarding sector with many opportunities to develop and grow your career but it also comes at a price, with long hours, unpredictability and intense working schedules, it can become exhausting on your mental health and well-being.
The Mental Health Foundation states that over 70 million working days are lost each year due to poor mental health, including symptoms of stress, anxiety, depression, bipolar and obsessive compulsive disorder. Poor mental health can affect organisations as well, through increased staff turnover, sickness absence, decreased motivation and lost productivity. Inspire well-being found that mental health in the creative sector is three times that of the general population. The most commonly diagnosed disorders are anxiety (36%) and depression (32%).
With the constant change and development of consumer behaviour and technology, organisations are feeling the pressure to create and deliver more and media companies are no exception. The always ‘on’ culture can be draining on employees and damaging to their mental health. Many workplaces offer mental health help and support via the HR Department at work, however, this support structure is not always so readily available for those who work freelance in the industry. Ofcam estimates that there are 30,000 freelancers working in the UK’s television industry and those without permanent roles don’t always benefit from management, sick pay, pensions, job security and regular working hours.
So what can we do to decrease our mental health issues?
Speak don’t suffer
Speaking about how you feel can be difficult, especially to others. The fear of being judged and mistreated can hold you back from seeking the help that you need but it is also important to take control of your health and well-being. Here is a list of people you can speak to at work in confidence if you are comfortable:
- Your manager
- A trustworthy colleague
- HR Department
- Mental Health Advocate at work
Self-care should be practiced every day, it will make you feel happier, energised and motivated! Here are some easy picks of self-care that go a long way:
Pick up a new healthy habit
They say it takes 21 days to form a new habit, so why not incorporate this into your everyday routine? Whether that is going for a walk every day, practicing positive affirmations at lunch or learning something new. Healthy habits will push your mind and body to try new things and stay active.
Change up your system
We tend to get stuck in a linear systematic approach to how we do our work but why not try and find a creative approach to problem solving? This will keep your mind sharp and ready, not only at work but also in your personal life. Exercise your brain to think outside of the box!
Most of us, use a notebook at work to write down notes, tasks and to-do lists to help us remember all the important things from our meetings and training sessions but what about using that same energy spending 15 minutes every day writing down your feelings and experiences. This will help you keep a record of how you feel and what causes your stress and anxiety as well as what activities trigger your happiness. Your notes will also help you to reflect on your life and help you de-clutter all your thoughts.
It’s important to look after yourself and create a lifestyle that your future self would really be proud of. You can achieve anything, when you put your mind to it!
(If you are suffering from mental health issues to any significant degree, make sure to always seek medical advice from your GP.)