U.K.’s Film and TV Charity Launches Two-Year Program For Better Mental Health in Film and TV

The U.K.’s Film and TV Charity has launched the Whole Picture Program, a two-year initiative designed to to improve the mental health and wellbeing of the 200,000 people who work behind the scenes in film, TV and cinema.

The Film and TV Charity has now secured £3 million ($3.87 million) in funding from Amazon Prime Video, Banijay U.K., BBC, BBC Studios, Channel 4, IMG, ITV, Sky, Sky Studios, Sony Pictures Entertainment, The Walt Disney Company, ViacomCBS and WarnerMedia to deliver the program that is supported by the BFI and backed by U.K. mental health charity Mind. The charity estimates that mental health problems, including staff turnover, cost the sector at least £300 million ($387 million) in losses each year.

The program will deliver a toolkit for mentally healthy productions; enhanced professional and peer support for freelancers; people skills and training guides; industry actions to improve behavior; and anti-bullying services and resources.

Alex Pumfrey, CEO of the Film and TV Charity said: “It has been a devastating year for many people in our industry, and it’s clear we cannot afford to return to ‘business as usual’. Our 2019 research showed a mental health crisis in the industry, which has only been exacerbated by the terrible effects of the pandemic.”

More than 9,000 people took part in the research last year, sharing their experiences and stories confidentially, which identified a mental health crisis within the industry. The findings revealed issues including self-harm and bullying. Since then, the pandemic has meant increased isolation and anxiety for many, and Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people in the industry have identified the effect systemic racism and discrimination has on mental health.

“The case for improving the mental health of the industry has never been stronger or more urgent,” added Pumfrey. “This program of work is designed to turn the tide on poor mental health by enhancing the available support, changing behavior and improving ways of working; but this will need to be an industry-wide effort to create sustainable change.”

The project has been on hold for six months whilst the charity has dedicated all of its resources to responding to COVID-19, raising £6.4 million ($8.2 million), and supporting thousands of workers with grants and financial and mental wellbeing services.

Emma Mamo, head of workplace wellbeing at Mind, said: “Unfortunately, self-employed people, freelancers and those in the film and TV industry are among those hit hardest by coronavirus. That’s why we’re pleased to be supporting the Whole Picture Program, which will provide much-needed resource and support to the many experiencing poor mental health in the sector.”

Industry leaders are part of the program’s mental health taskforce and they will work collaboratively to adopt and champion the work both within their own organizations and widely across the sector.

More from Variety

Best of Variety

Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Source Article

Read More →

Healthineers launches rapid coronavirus antigen test, sees tight supply

By Ludwig Burger

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Siemens Healthineers on Wednesday announced the launch of a rapid antigen test kit in Europe to detect coronavirus infections, but warned that the industry may struggle to meet a surge in demand.

The German group, whose rivals in diagnostics include Roche, Abbott and Becton Dickinson , said its test cassette did not require lab processing and would deliver results in 15 minutes, but that the required nasal swabs would have to be taken by healthcare professionals.

PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests, which scan genetic code for the markers of a virus, are the gold standard for finding infections but are two to three times more expensive than antigen tests and require processing in a lab.

Antigen tests, which look for proteins found on the surface of the virus, cost about 4-5 euros ($5-$6) each, but miss a few percent of the infections that PCR tests would have caught.

Currently, slightly more than 1 million standard PCR tests are performed in Germany every week.

However, public health systems around the world are eager to provide quick diagnostic tools, and test more widely, to help locate hotspots of the pandemic.

Germany’s health ministry last week said it had secured 9 million antigen tests.

The regional state of Bavaria followed up this week with an order for 10 million antigen tests, saying it had options to purchase from Healthineers, Roche and Abbott. It did not give a timeframe for their use.

“The volumes that are being circulated globally are probably at the limits of what manufacturers can currently supply,” a Healthineers spokesman said.

“We are currently in talks with various governments over possible supply orders.”

The United States and Canada are also buying millions of tests, as is Italy, whose recent tender for 5 million tests attracted offers from 35 companies.

Healthineers is also planning to seek approval for a launch in the United States. ($1 = 0.8501 euros)

(Additional reporting by Caroline Copley; Editing by Riham Alkousaa and Editing by Kevin Liffey)

Source Article

Read More →

Caliber, with $2.2 million in seed funding, launches a fitness coaching platform

The coronavirus pandemic has thrown the fitness space for a loop. Caliber, a startup that focuses on one-to-one personal training, is today launching a brand new digital coaching platform on the heels of a $2.2 million seed round led by Trinity Ventures.

Caliber launched in 2018 with a content model, offering an email newsletter and a library of instructional fitness content.

“My co-founders started testing the idea of coaching people individually and that’s where the light bulb really went off,” said co-founder and CEO Jared Cluff. “They saw that more than anything, people need expert guidance and a really genuinely personalized plan for their fitness routine.”

That was the origin of Caliber as it is known today.

When users join the platform they are matched with a Caliber coach. The company says that it brings on about five of every 100 applications for coaches on the platform, accepting only the very best trainers.

These coaches then take into account the goals of users and build out a personalized fitness plan in conjunction with the user, which begins with a video or phone consultation. Once the plan, which is comprised of strength training, cardio and nutrition, is finalized, the coach loads it into the app.

Users then follow the instructions from their instructor via the app and log their progress. Interestingly, these aren’t live video appointments with a trainer, but rather an asynchronous ongoing conversation with a coach that is facilitated by the app.

Users can also integrate their Apple Health app with Caliber to track nutrition and cardio, giving the coach a full 360-degree view of their progress.

Alongside providing feedback and encouragement, the coach ultimately provides a layer of accountability.

This combination of real human coaching in a less synchronous, time-intensive manner has allowed for Caliber to charge at a higher price than your standard workout generator apps but come in much lower than the average cost of an actual, in-person personal trainer.

Most Caliber users will pay between $200 and $400 per month to use the platform. Coaches, which are 1099 workers on Caliber, take home 60% of the revenue generated from users.

Pre-launch, Caliber has more than tripled its membership across the last six months and increased the number of workouts per member by 150%, according to the company. Cluff says the startup is doing north of $1 million in annual recurring revenue.

Of the 41 trainers on the platform, 37% are female and about a quarter are non-white. On the HQ team, which totals seven people, one is female and two-thirds of the founding team are LGBTQ.

“The biggest challenge is not dissimilar to the challenge we faced at Blue Apron, where I was most recently, in that we wanted to create the category around meal kits,” said Cluff. “We want to build a category around fitness training in a space that is super fragmented with no branded leader.”

Source Article

Read More →