A 120-mile charity bike ride from Bath to the PLASA Show in London has so far raised over £3,500 towards a charity aimed at improving mental health in the industry.
The team of three cyclists, comprising Andy Lenthall of the Production Services Association (PSA); John McEvoy of PRG and Dan Page of DiGiGrid (who had just returned from a 1,000-mile ride from John O’Groats to Land’s End) completed the journey in seven hours, to join industry colleagues at the trade show.
The ride was organised as part of an on-going collaboration between the PSA and PLASA, which aims to tackle the issue of mental health in the entertainment industry. The joint venture between the PSA and PLASA aims to improve the industry’s approach to mental health issues, and encourages companies to take an active lead by offering Mental Health First Aid training. The money raised from the bike ride will fund subsidised training for self-employed production personnel.
Andy Lenthall and PLASA’s managing director Peter Heath brought the issue to the main stage of the PLASA Show’s seminar programme. Joined by Kelly Murray, editor of TPi magazine and Steve Banks, chairman of the PSA, they hosted a panel session titled ‘Improving our approach to mental health.’ During the session, the panel discussed ways companies can support employees, including investing in Mental Health First Aid training and working with time-to-change.org.uk to create mental health action plans.
“One of the most effective ways to address mental health problems is to talk about them,” said PLASA’s Peter Heath, who unfortunately had to pull out of the bike ride following an injury. “We all have a responsibility to do more and we are pleased that PLASA can offer a platform to bring these issues to a wider audience.”
“It is important to recognise the signs when our colleagues are struggling with their mental health and to encourage them to get the professional help they need,” added PSA's Andy Lenthall. “Mental Health First Aid training does this, and we encourage employers to invest in training their staff.
“The industry thrives on a backbone of supportive self-employed individuals, and we hope with the money raised we can seed the industry with people that are trained to listen to and support their co-workers.”
If you would like to donate a Just Giving page has been set up.