A post created by Equity two years ago to tackle bullying and harassment in the sector is being scrapped.
The bullying, harassment and mental health assistant position was formed in 2018 but will come to an end in January next year, with the union claiming it had provided “only very limited support” for members.
Addam Merali-Younger, who was recently honoured for his work with the union at the inaugural Industry Minds Awards, was appointed to the position.
It is understood that since he has been in the job, the service has been used more than 1,400 times.
However, the union has claimed it could be offering members more and is looking to offer access to a 24/7 mental-health helpline, and up to six counselling sessions that it will fund.
General secretary Christine Payne said: “The membership support assistant role that was created to help the union’s work on mental health, harassment and bullying was a two-year fixed term post and will end in January 2020.
“On reviewing the role, I concluded it was providing only very limited support for members who needed to urgently access professional and expert advice and guidance.”
She said the role did not provide professional counselling and members had “limited ability to access help because it was London-based and only available four days a week during normal office hours”.
Payne said the union could provide a “better service for members”.
“The proposal I put to the Equity council at its meeting in October is a realistic and practical vision for Equity’s future mental health and well-being provision. It will include a 24/7 helpline, a one hour individual assessment and up to six professional counselling sessions funded by the union, which will be available across the UK,” she said, adding: “The union’s commitment to advocate for mental health support in the entertainment industry remains as strong as ever.”
Payne said senior staff member Louise Grainger would lead on the proposals, with the union also promising a dedicated help desk to members.
She said this would provide members with the “help they want, quickly and efficiently regarding all the aspects of the union’s services including mental health and wellbeing, bullying, harassment, insurance and legal services”.
The council is due to discuss the proposals again at its meeting in November.