Why Your Set May Need a Mental Health Coordinator

Posted on: May 23, 2024

Photo Credit: Stokkete // Shutterstock

By Tamarra Thomas

Behind the glitz and glamour of film and television production lies a reality that often goes unseen: the mental and emotional toll it can take on the cast and crew. From intense scenes to grueling schedules, the world of entertainment can be a pressure cooker for everyone involved. That’s why it’s crucial to recognize when your staff may need a therapist.

Pre-Production Assessment

Picture this: you’re in pre production, mapping out every detail of your project, from casting to set design. Have you considered the mental well-being of your team? As you analyze the script and pinpoint scenes that are emotionally charged, intense or potentially triggering, it may be an opportunity to bring on additional support.

Just as you budget for equipment and location fees, making room in your budget for an on-set mental health coordinator should be a priority. This dedicated professional can provide invaluable support throughout the production process.

During filming, emotions can run high and scenes can delve into sensitive topics. A skilled mental health coordinator is there to check in with the cast and crew daily, offering a safe space to discuss any concerns or anxieties that may arise. They’re not just there to lend a listening ear, they’re trained to recognize when a scene may be potentially harmful to the actors’ mental health.

Navigating Challenging Scenes

By receiving guidance, actors can confidently navigate these challenges, establishing a safer and more supportive environment on-set where they can fully focus on their performances without being influenced by real-life emotions.

Having a mental health coordinator on-set can offer numerous benefits. Not only can they protect crew members who may feel uncomfortable during a scene and need to check in, but they also serve as an additional advocate for both crew and cast. Collaborating with the assistant director, they can assist in managing a better schedule, ensuring that everyone has the time and space they need during a busy production.

Additional Resources

They can also provide additional tools and resources, such as meditation sessions, yoga classes, breathing exercises and more—all aimed at supporting the well-being of the team. For further inspiration and ideas on how to invest in your crew’s well-being, consider exploring resources like Calm On Set on Instagram and the Association of Mental Health Coordinators.

When you incorporate mental health support into your production process, you promote a healthier work environment and empower your team to consistently produce outstanding work. After all, a happy and healthy staff is the key to success in any production.

Tamarra Thomas is an Impact Producer from Sparta, Michigan. Her love of film began when she was in high school leading in both theater and student news. Since then Tamarra has worked on award winning features and documentaries. Her love for narrative work and community goes hand in hand. Her goal is to create impactful films that influence and expands the creative mindset.

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