Last year, filmmaker Ben Steel used his documentary The Show Must Go On, produced by Film Art Media, to launch a bigger conversation with the entertainment industry about mental health.

The centrepiece of that film’s impact strategy, led by impact producer Diana Fisk, was the national Wellness Roadshow, a series of workshops and targeted discussions about mental wellbeing for arts and entertainment workers.

However through the process, Steel and his colleagues identified that the screen industry lags behind other sectors of entertainment in terms of support.

As such, this month Steel will facilitate a further series of webinars, Screen Well, targeted at screen practitioners.

These free events have been designed in tandem with mental health professionals, as well as various guilds, to identify the unique issues faced by people working in different screen cohorts.

Ben Steel.

Steel said: “The music and live performance industries are very proactive in the wellbeing space, providing many customised resources, events, and support through entries such as Support Act and the Arts Wellbeing Collective – the screen industry is sadly lagging very far behind, but I’m hopeful that these webinars will be the catalyst to help change that.”

Four webinars will be held:

  • Crew Well: Targeted crew members and teams (November 9, 19.30 AEDT)
  • Create Well: Targeted at writers, directors, designers, editors and producers (November 13.00 AEDT)
  • Perform Well: Targeted at actors, agents/managers and casting directors (November 23, 13.00 AEDT)
  • Lead Well: Targeted at HODs (November 25, 19.30 AEDT)

Funded through Screen Australia’s Industry Partnerships program, speakers will include creative business advisor Monica Davidson; Tracy Margieson, program manager of the Arts Wellbeing Collective, and psychologist/author Dr Julie Crabtree, among others.

Crabtree said: “Coronavirus has brought profound awareness to underlying challenges many in the screen industry have faced for a very long time, such as; isolation, uncertainty, financial and mental health stress. This moment in time has created an appetite for understanding, self-growth, and meaningful change which I’m excited to help facilitate in these wellbeing webinars.

Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason said, “This year has been incredibly difficult for many people working in our sector as they navigate the challenges of COVID-19. It’s important we pay close attention to our mental health during this time and I encourage everyone to take advantage of these webinars.”

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