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U.K.’s Film and TV Charity Launches Two-Year Program For Better Mental Health in Film and TV

The U.K.’s Film and TV Charity has launched the Whole Picture Program, a two-year initiative designed to to improve the mental health and wellbeing of the 200,000 people who work behind the scenes in film, TV and cinema.

The Film and TV Charity has now secured £3 million ($3.87 million) in funding from Amazon Prime Video, Banijay U.K., BBC, BBC Studios, Channel 4, IMG, ITV, Sky, Sky Studios, Sony Pictures Entertainment, The Walt Disney Company, ViacomCBS and WarnerMedia to deliver the program that is supported by the BFI and backed by U.K. mental health charity Mind. The charity estimates that mental health problems, including staff turnover, cost the sector at least £300 million ($387 million) in losses each year.

The program will deliver a toolkit for mentally healthy productions; enhanced professional and peer support for freelancers; people skills and training guides; industry actions to improve behavior; and anti-bullying services and resources.

Alex Pumfrey, CEO of the Film and TV Charity said: “It has been a devastating year for many people in our industry, and it’s clear we cannot afford to return to ‘business as usual’. Our 2019 research showed a mental health crisis in the industry, which has only been exacerbated by the terrible effects of the pandemic.”

More than 9,000 people took part in the research last year, sharing their experiences and stories confidentially, which identified a mental health crisis within the industry. The findings revealed issues including self-harm and bullying. Since then, the pandemic has meant increased isolation and anxiety for many, and Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people in the industry have identified the effect systemic racism and discrimination has on mental health.

“The case for improving the mental health of the industry has never been stronger or more urgent,” added Pumfrey. “This program of work is designed to turn the tide on poor mental health by enhancing the available support, changing behavior and improving ways of working; but this will need to be an industry-wide effort to create sustainable change.”

The project has been on hold for six months whilst the charity has dedicated all of its resources to responding to COVID-19, raising £6.4 million ($8.2 million), and supporting thousands of workers with grants and financial and mental wellbeing services.

Emma Mamo, head of workplace wellbeing at Mind, said: “Unfortunately, self-employed people, freelancers and those in the film and TV industry are among those hit hardest by coronavirus. That’s why we’re pleased to be supporting the Whole Picture Program, which will provide much-needed resource and support to the many experiencing poor mental health in the sector.”

Industry leaders are part of the program’s mental health taskforce and they will work collaboratively to adopt and champion the work both within their own organizations and widely across the sector.

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Generation Growth Documentary Film Selected for Heartland International Film Festival in Indianapolis

  • Documentary focuses on addressing social determinants of health through gardening curriculum in the classroom for students

  • Film also selected as nominee for ‘Indiana Spotlight’ as Holy Angels Catholic School in Indianapolis and Moores Hill in Dearborn County are featured

  • Green Bronx Machine and Anthem Inc. partner to expand curriculum across the country to bring hope, health and opportunity to communities and students who need it most

The Heartland International Film Festival in Indianapolis has announced Generation Growth, a documentary film focused on health and educational outcomes in low-income areas across America, has been selected for ‘Documentary Features’ and is a nominee for the ‘Indiana Spotlight Award’ for its upcoming film festival from October 8 – 18, 2020.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201006005118/en/

Green Bronx Machine and Anthem Inc. partner to bring hope, health and opportunity to communities and students who need it most through documentary film, Generation Growth, which has been selected to the Heartland International Film Festival in Indianapolis from October 8 – 18, 2020. (Graphic: Business Wire)

Generation Growth takes a journey across the country to address the social determinants of health in some of the most vulnerable communities through an interactive gardening curriculum that allows students to grow vegetables in the classroom, helping them eat better, be more engaged with school and give them pathways for jobs. With the support and partnership of Anthem Inc., a health benefits company, Stephen Ritz, founder of Green Bronx Machine, is able to deliver on his mission to expand around the country, in places like Indiana, to bring hope, health and opportunity to those communities and students who need it most. From 3rd grade to high school students, to rural and urban communities, to students with disabilities and youth in foster care, Generation Growth is dedicated to cultivating minds and harvesting hope.

Social determinants of health continue to be barriers to good health outcomes. These conditions include poverty, housing, poor water quality, transportation, social isolation, lack of employment, lack of access to healthy foods, lack of family cohesion and lack of education. Generation Growth explores these challenges that are impacting so many in Indiana and across the country.

Research indicates that poor nutrition, often a result of food insecurity, is a leading risk factor for many chronic conditions, including heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and other diet-related diseases. And food insecurity is reported to cost the healthcare system an additional $53 billion a year. In Indianapolis, 1 in 4 children live in poverty, 23% of children lack consistent access to food, 21% of households use food assistance and 90% of food consumed is grown out of state.

“It’s hard work raising children, and a lot harder when you’re in poverty, when caring and consistency can be at a premium. When I came across the work that Stephen was doing — teaching children unfairly disadvantaged by their environments, lacking only in opportunity rather than aptitude, and creating a pathway for health and success in life