Initiatives designed to provide wellbeing support

A group of Sussex outfits have launched a mental health charter and the Creative Industries Federation (CIF) has compiled a digital toolkit to aid freelancers with their wellbeing.

As Mental Health Week 2021 draws to a close, the Sussex charter will act as a source of reference for people to seek help and will be supported by simple and practical advice and training for company owners, freelancers and staff.

Another ambition of the charter, which could become a nationwide model, is to attract funding to train a pool of mental health first aiders to support the local production community.

Spearheaded by not-for-profit organisation Brighton Production Hub, indies from across the Sussex region are being urged to sign up, with the likes of Dog Rescuers indie Middlechild already involved alongside post-production outfit The Edit.

“The shocking statistics revealing the number of television professionals whose mental health has suffered as a consequence of their work was a real wake up call for the industry,” said Middlechild creative director Andrew Eastel.

“For the Brighton Production Hub to bring the local community of production companies together as one entity, to tackle mental health concerns together, is a gamechanger.”

Digital toolkit

Meanwhile, the CIF has helped forge a digital toolkit to aid freelancers with mental health in the wake of Covid-19.

Developed by creative sector social enterprise The Hub, the Balance toolkit includes more than 100 bespoke resources, with reams of practical tips on how to weather the pandemic’s longer-lasting impact.

It was put together with input from hundreds of freelancers.

“We have a crucial responsibility as a sector to collectively support those worst affected and help them to weather this storm,” said CIF chief executive Caroline Norbury.