As a social enterprise, leading social enterprise and film production company Inside Job Productions channel their profits back into initiatives that emphasise mental health, leveraging training and education as key tools for transformative impact. During 2023, they started a six-month pilot programme with the national mental health charity, Rethink Mental Illness. Inside Job Productions hired a Production Trainee at the London Living Wage, offering them comprehensive training and support in film production, editing and delivery. Their role was to produce content for the charity’s newly launched TikTok channel.
The social impact aim was twofold:
- Provide training and employment for a young person with lived experience of mental illness
- Create high quality content for people experiencing difficulties with their mental health to view on social media
A Participatory Trainer supported Charly, a person with bipolar disorder who had been out of employment for a long time, helping them grow skills and confidence to create high quality content for the TikTok channel.
Inside Job Productions commissioned an independent survey of 1000 16-30 year olds and ran a focus group of 12 young people to get an understanding of what they want – and what works. There is a clear need for helpful content when it comes to mental health.
- 41% of young people turn to social media for support and advice around mental health
- 48% are looking on the internet more generally
- Just 1 in 10 (9%) say that the content they see is always useful to them, and 40% sometimes
- 52% say the content they see makes them feel better – meaning nearly half don’t feel this way
Not only is content not always helpful, it could pose risk. Inside Job Productions and Rethink Mental Illness saw an opportunity to shift the dial and change things.
What people want
Over six months not only was a channel launched, but is thriving. The content on Rethink Mental Illness’ TikTok channel is designed to be informative, personal, and powerful, with the needs of young people in mind.
To date there are
- 30+ videos
- 1400+ followers
- 2300+ likes
- 67.3k plays
The content young people are seeing on Rethink Mental Illness’ TikTok channel is deemed to be helpful, impactful and trustworthy. The survey showed that:
- 60% say it is useful
- 67% say it makes them feel better
- 85% say the content is clear
- 83% say the channel is trustworthy
“The content is easy to understand and it’s good that the content is quick and snappy and gets to the point. I really like that the content is separated into lots of different videos, rather than one long video. As it’s coming from one person rather than a script, it makes it easy to understand and clearly from an individual’s perspective.”
“I really liked the questions asked – It’s informative, but not the kind of stuff you get on the NHS. You can’t really get this type of information on the internet. This is kind of indispensable.”
“Other things you see on TikTok on mental health can be triggering and unhelpful, but this made me feel seen like this person is speaking for me.”
As well as helping the thousands of young people who view and engage with the content, the scheme has been hugely beneficial to Charly, our trainee.
Charly Flyte, Inside Job Productions Production Trainee said: “My time at Inside Job Productions has taught me so much about editing and filmmaking; it’s given me real confidence that has undoubtedly improved my mental health. Everyone is so supportive of one another, being part of a team like that is so refreshing and I’m excited to go to work each week.”
The clear impact and results of the scheme means that Inside Job Productions are continuing in 2024, with a new trainee, and have been approached by other charities including ThriveLDN to run a similar project, helping the social enterprise deliver against their social impact charter, and use film for good.
Ann Summerhayes, CEO, Inside Job Productions said: “As a social impact project this scheme has allowed us to make a difference not only to the life of Charly, our Production Trainee, but also the thousands of people who see the content produced for the TikTok channel. It’s clear that thoughtful, powerful and supportive films can make a difference to people’s lives, and we’re proud of that.”
Raif Howley, Social Media Manager at Rethink Mental Illness said: “When we launched our TikTok channel, our clear goal was to provide engaging content for young people which clearly and effectively raised awareness of what it is like to live with a mental illness. Working with IJP and our intern Charly on this scheme has been instrumental in achieving this goal, and seeing the feedback in the survey, in the focus group and in the comments section underneath our posts shows how successful this collaboration has been. I couldn’t be happier with the content Charly has produced and seeing their confidence grow with each new piece of content was my personal highlight. But to create a channel which feels authentic, in-line with our goals as a charity and is engaging for a younger audience is really special too.”