Living crisis could plunge 35,000 UK film and TV workers into crisis but industry’s mental health improving, charity reports

Up to 35,000 UK film and TV workers could be plunged into financial crisis in the next year, according to new research by the Film and TV Charity, which has revealed a worsening mental health crisis in the industry.

The charity’s third Looking Glass survey, which takes the temperature of the industry’s mental wellbeing, bullying and working conditions, found 16% of 2,000 respondents believed their financial situation was “quite difficult” or “very difficult”.

Extrapolating this, the agency said up to 35,000 workers could be “plunged into misery” due to a combination of inflation, rising electricity prices and higher rent and mortgage costs.

About one-fifth of respondents said they were “just getting by,” 41% were “okay” and 21% were “living comfortably,” according to the study. Elsewhere, 75% are “worried about future income” and 27% have to work outside the industry to make ends meet.

The survey was unveiled as the UK’s living crisis worsens, with prices skyrocketing, which is clearly affecting an industry heavily reliant on casual, freelance labour, although the number who feel their jobs are secure will fall from 23% in 2021 to 28- This has been promoted. % The latest UK economic figures showed inflation at 10.1%, a small fall but close to a 40-year high. Industry leaders have warned of the impact of the lifestyle crisis and consumers are feeling the pinch, with costs rising as budgets shrink.

Improving mental health

Meanwhile, the Looking Glass results show little improvement on the industry’s mental health crisis, with 80% of respondents agreeing that they experience a positive change in industry culture and behaviour.

Published in 2019, the first Looking Glass was dubbed a ‘mental health emergency’ when it found that more than half of respondents had thought about suicide and the majority suffered from mental health problems.

Today’s survey noted small improvements and a high desire for change, including a drop in “poor mental health” from 29% to 24%, fewer people considering leaving the industry due to mental health concerns (down 5pp to 60%) and the number of suicides down 29%. – though the latter is well above the national average.

At 11%, the number who believe the film and TV industry to be a “mentally healthy place to work” is incredibly low.

Experiences of bullying, harassment and discrimination also fell, from 53% to 46% in 2021, but concerns were raised that many of these incidents went unreported.

Following the “pretty dire situation” revealed by Looking Glass in 2019, the charity’s boss Alex Pumphrey said today’s results showed “positive change can be achieved.”

“It is heartening that the efforts are starting to pay dividends, with attitudes and overall mental health scores starting to move in the right direction,” he added. “That said, the work started at a very low level and the interventions and campaigns should be considered an opening salvo.”

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