A new must for television and film shoots: therapists

Sometimes Platt – a former actor – is involved before filming begins, helping writers turn poignant autobiographical documents into scrip...


Sometimes Platt – a former actor – is involved before filming begins, helping writers turn poignant autobiographical documents into scripts. Other times, she introduces herself to the cast and crew at the start of filming and lets them know they can call her. She’s also there for film editors who have to watch poignant scenes over and over again while finishing a show.

The presence of on-set and on-call therapists is particularly noticeable in UK film and television, which have been involved in an industry-wide discussion about mental health since 2017, when Michael Harm, a manager who had worked on many films including Harry Franchise Potter, committed suicide.

On the day of his death, Harm sent a letter to co-worker, Sue Quinn, saying he had nowhere to turn for help with his difficulties at work, and urging him to change that to others in industry.

“You’re pushed, pushed, pushed and pushed to the limit, all the time,” Quinn, also a site manager, said of the experience of working on a typical set. This is especially true, she said, when producers prioritize staying on budget over mental health. The cast and crew work grueling hours and many are bullied, she added.

After receiving the letter, Quinn contacted a UK non-profit organization that supports film and television workers facing financial problems and asked them to develop a helpline for workers facing such issues. as depression, anxiety and bullying as well as financial stress. The following year, this organization, the Film and TV Charity, launched a 24-hour telephone line: He received around 7,000 calls in 2020, said Valeria Bullo, member of the association’s mental health team.

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