We can provide on location psychologists to support both cast and crew, and we also provide consultancy and advice to production executives during production. If you need a Psychologist on set or on call during your production, all our consultants are pre-vetted and accredited providers and we ONLY supply appropriately qualified professionals for any given role in line with British Psychological Society guidelines for ethical practice. We can also provide other welfare professionals, such as medical doctors (for medical examinations and vaccinations for example), paramedics (for on location medical care) and first aiders.
If you are making a residential Reality TV show, by which we mean a show which involves your cast living and working on set, or going on location, for a number of days or weeks at a time, we usually advise that you enlist the services of a full time Psychologist to be the Resident Psychologist on the show. While on-call services may be appropriate for some smaller productions, or productions where the contestants do not ‘live-in’, on most residential reality TV shows a Psychologist should be available on set for participants to access if needed every day. A Resident Psychologist can also monitor behaviour note any signs of stress or key changes in performance or social interaction.
The gold standard in psychological welfare provision for a reality show is to enlist the services of two or more Psychologists, a Principal Consultant Psychologist and an Assistant Psychologist for example. A team approach means that your consultants can work together to provide coordinated and consistent care. This means that one of the Psychologists can be available on set each day, and every day of the week will be covered. It also means that if there is any staff illness (Psychologists sometimes get sick or need a day off just like anyone else), there is always cover from a known and familiar figure. There are other benefits to this approach such as being able to have both Psychologists available on set during particularly intense days such as at the start and end of a series.
Reality TV show environments are fast paced and intense working environments and Psychologists get tired after doing long shifts or working intensely stressful days, just like anyone else. However, because the welfare of contributors is at stake and a Psychologist’s judgement needs to be sound at all times, it’s important that your on set or on location Psychologist is able to get enough rest. On large productions, they should also have the facility to consult a trained colleague for a second opinion (this is often known as supervised practice – even the most highly experienced Psychologists will usually have a trusted colleague that they discuss or share their case load with).
This is another reason that we advise, wherever possible, that more than one Psychologist, or at least a Principal Psychologist and an Assistant, is enlisted for a large show. While there are always cost implications for staffing productions, we believe that psychological welfare services are not an area where costs should be the primary concern, and wherever possible, adequate provision of professional psychological services should be paramount, especially on a large or very high profile show.
If you ask us to conduct a TV Format Review during pre-production (which we hope you will as it allows us to properly advise you right from the beginning), we can make recommendations as to what will be needed on the show.
We will always recommend both the bare minimum (and least costly) form of psychological welfare provision needed, and also suggest what would be ideally available, if budget and practicalities allow for it. We recognise that production companies have practical constraints and have to work according budgets too, just as any other enterprise, but we believe that it is our duty of care to advise you on what you definitely should have in place, and what would be the best case scenario for mitigating risk.
For shows that are filmed on location or abroad, and where budget does not allow for two Resident Psychologists, we may recommend one Resident Psychologist to be available on location, and a back-up team of on-call, or remotely accessible, supporting professionals (who can make contact with the Resident Psychologist and/or production team via video call for example).
At On Set Welfare we aim to provide the very best psychological welfare services for TV and Film productions. We believe that this requires a multi-skilled, and coordinated team of welfare professionals. While we specialise in psychological welfare, a contributor’s psychological state can sometimes affect their physical health and wellbeing, just as their physical health can impact upon their psychological health.
We believe that risk of harm to either psychological or physical health is reduced when services are coordinated well and when professionals know and work together in a structured way. By enlisting On Set Welfare to meet all the welfare needs of your contributors, for example psychological, health and safety, medical and physical, it means that we can communicate easily with the other professionals involved and share relevant notes without breaching a client’s confidentiality. An on set Psychologist can work effectively alongside an on set Paramedic for example if they are used to working together and care discuss all aspects of a contributor’s health. It is particularly helpful to have a coordinated approach to care in any case where there is a crisis or injury.
For this reason, we now work with a trusted team of providers of various other medical services as well as a range of psychological consultants from different specialities. We can now provide coordinated psychological AND physical health and wellbeing services, meaning we can ensure all your contributor’s health related needs are covered. We believe this makes us world-leading pioneers in the provision of welfare services to the TV and Film industries.