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Mental Health Week 2024: Compassion in the Motion Picture Industry



Mental Health Week is May 6 - 12, 2024, and this year’s theme is centered on the healing power of compassion. “Healing through Compassion,” invites us to actively engage in kindness both towards ourselves and others. We all have the capacity to be compassionate, and we know that doing so can make an enormous difference. It’s an opportunity to transform our creative spaces into environments where everyone feels seen and supported.

“Compassion is the practice of meeting suffering – whether our own or the suffering of others – with kindness.” - Margaret Eaton, National CEO, CMHA


Why Compassion Matters 

In an industry as demanding as ours, where the pressure is a constant backdrop to our creativity, embracing compassion can lead to profound improvements in our work environment. Compassion helps us see beyond the day-to-day struggles, offering a lifeline to those who might feel isolated by the very nature of our work. It’s about creating a culture where people feel genuinely valued and supported.


A ‘Week of Compassion’ Challenge

The CMHA has outlined a "Week of Compassion" exercise that we can adapt to our industry’s unique rhythm. Personalize this list and let's commit to a week of compassionate acts:


Monday - Acknowledge Your Journey

Give yourself credit for the challenges you’ve faced and overcome. This self-recognition fosters resilience and prepares you to extend empathy to others.



Tuesday - Compassionate Outreach

Reach out to a colleague or crew member. A simple “How are you really doing?” can open the door to meaningful support and show that no one needs to face their struggles alone.



Wednesday - Words of Affirmation

Make it a point to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of someone on your team. Public recognition or a private note can boost morale and promote a positive atmosphere.



Thursday - Educate and Engage

Share resources about mental health. Join our Calltime Champions list to receive monthly content updates to share, or send out an email link to materials like the CMHA's guide on "Creating Compassionate Workplace Cultures."Awareness is the foundation of compassion.



Friday - Connect and Care

Organize a casual meet-up, perhaps coffee or a brief after-work gathering, focusing on relaxation and non-work conversation. It’s a chance to strengthen bonds and unwind together.



Implementing Compassionate Practices

In an industry where personal struggles often go unnoticed behind the hustle, promoting compassion can help create an environment where individuals feel valued and supported. A supportive atmosphere can lead to reduced stress, lower rates of burnout, and overall better mental health outcomes.


Lead with Empathy - For those in leadership roles, openly practicing empathy and offering support can set a tone that encourages others to do the same. Being transparent about your own experiences with mental health and wellbeing can demystify and destigmatize these conversations.


Foster a Compassionate Environment - Consider establishing ongoing support mechanisms like peer support groups or regular check-ins. Encouraging team members to share their experiences and coping strategies can cultivate an environment of mutual respect and understanding.


Our Commitment to Compassion

Beyond this year’s Mental Health Week, let’s carry the momentum forward, continuing to weave compassion into the fabric of our daily interactions. Each step we take towards supporting each other not only enriches our work environment but also enhances our collective creativity and success.


Let’s keep the spirit of compassion alive on each set, in each production, and in every conversation we have. Here’s to making our industry an oasis of empathy and support!

Together, let's turn the spotlight on compassion, ensuring it's not just a week-long focus but a permanent fixture in our industry’s ethos.

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