BFI to offer additional funding for wellbeing facilitators on set

The film institute has joined forces with mental health and well-being organisation 6ft From The Spotlight to improve working conditions. 

By Melissa Kasule 2 Feb 2022

BFI to offer additional funding for wellbeing facilitators on set

The British Film Institute (BFI) will deliver additional funding for the role of wellbeing facilitators on projects backed by the BFI Film Fund in an aim to create a healthier work environment. 

Made possible with National Lottery funding, and working with 6ft From The Spotlight, the newly created role aims to champion and facilitate a positive working culture, as well as being an independent point of contact for concerns regarding stress, bullying and harassment, discrimination, and adult safeguarding during production.

Their responsibilities include advising producers and heads of departments on how to prevent stress and mental health issues arising, and to support them in meeting their legal duty of care to cast and crew. They will also assist in implementing the BFI Bullying & Harassment Guidance and Principles, act as a mediator to resolve issues if necessary, as well as coach newly promoted crew and those supervising a team for the first time. They do not perform the role of counsellors or therapists but can refer and signpost to support and resources.

Wellbeing facilitators join productions from the outset where they will have a regular physical presence on set so they are visible and accessible, but the role is set up to maintain independence from the core team, which is vital so everyone – at all levels, across the entire cast and crew – feel able to approach them in confidence.

New wellbeing facilitators will be offered training that covers mental health and the law and mental health risk policy, dealing with bullying and harassment, resilience and intervention, stress risk assessment, positive psychology, and psychological safety.

Jennifer Smith, BFI's head of inclusion, said: “Turning the tide on poor working practices in our industry is a collective endeavour and one we are all responsible for. The introduction of the wellbeing facilitator builds on our existing Guidance and Principles to prevent bullying, harassment and racism and provides additional invaluable support to producers and heads of department to put wellbeing front and centre of their productions. Our goal is that this role becomes normalised across industry, because a positive and safe working environment is essential in order to retain our existing talented workforce and to attract new people to the sector.”

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