This week sees the first episode of Backstage with Backup, a new series of podcasts designed to let you know a bit more Backup Tech by talking to the people behind the charity, the industry friends it works with, and those who have benefitted from its support.
Backup Tech is a UK registered charity that provides financial and wellbeing support to technical professionals, crew and production personnel and anyone working in the technical supply chain across the UK entertainment industry.
In this first episode, Sarah James (Press & PR for Backup) talks to Backup Trustee and Autograph MD Scott Arnold, who discusses his passion for working with Backup, his history of mental health – he has general anxiety disorder – and his desire to give something back to celebrate the way he has been helped, and to help others.
“I was very lucky,” he says. “Around 20 years ago I had a breakdown and started to suffer from anxiety. I’d only worked with Autograph for two years and they gave me the help and support I needed through what was a year out from work. They stuck by me and 25 years later I’m MD of the company. That shows what can happen if you stick by someone. I wanted to try and put that message out to other people. Mental health shouldn’t be a hinderance. There are so many people that have mental health issues, but it doesn’t have to be a disadvantage. If you find out how it works and how to handle it, then you can grow.”
Backup wants to encourage the industry to be more aware of how mental health is so often invisible, and how simply having someone to talk to who understands what you’re going through can help.
“It’s not necessarily easy to talk, and trying to explain to people what you’re going through can be tough,” adds Scott. “There’s a frustration that our industry has a massive hole in the understanding of mental health, and we can address that. The repercussions of the pandemic have created an increase in the need for help, and I think our work at Backup has become even more important.”
To hear Scott’s story, how he manages his anxiety, that it is OK not to be OK, the part Backup plays in raising awareness and helping those who are in need, and the importance of having more trained Mental Health First Aiders in the industry, listen to the podcast at podcast.backuptech.uk.