The Initiative

As the worldwide conversation on mental health has grown, so too has the conversation within our industry. We are learning more about the dimensions of the problem and the depths of people’s pain and despair, and the role that the unique stresses, demands and culture of our industry play. The time has clearly come for all of us to take an active role in fighting the stigma associated with mental illness and to offer a helping hand to our colleagues who are struggling with issues such as anxiety, depression, harassment, or addiction.

The goal of this initiative is to provide easily accessible information, tools and resources to members of the entertainment industry that will:

  • Make it easier for individuals to self-identify issues and seek help in early stage as well as crisis situations
  • Increase industry members’ confidence about how to reach out and provide assistance to individuals in need of support
  • Help employers and supervisors become effective leaders in changing the culture regarding mental health, identifying and supporting at-risk individuals, responding to a mental health crisis such as suicide or accidental overdose, and reintegrating individuals who have been impacted by a mental health or substance misuse crisis back into the workplace

The Steering Committee

Joining Behind the Scenes in developing this initiative are a group of individuals and organizations with relevant expertise and experience and a deep commitment to improve the quality of life for those working in the entertainment industry.

Raul Argudin
Human Resources Compliance and Regulatory Manager, The Broadway League
Shelley Bibby
Business Agent, IATSE Local 849
Tony DePaulo
Retired international Vice President and Retired Co-Director of Stagecraft Department, IATSE
Rosalyn Gilbert,  LCSW, BCD
Supervisor of Addiction and Recovery Services, Entertainment Community Fund
Alison Heiser, LPC, LMHC
Open Heart Counseling
Tammy Honesty
Associate Professor  of Scenic Design, West Virginia University
Bryan Huneycutt
Principal, HuneyBadger Entertainment Consulting
Jennifer Leff, LCSW
Managing Director, Human Services, MusiCares

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Taryn Elizabeth Longo
The Mastery Studio
Greg Petruska
Director Environmental Health and Safety, NBCUniversal
Naomi Rodda, MSW, LCSW
Director of Home & Community Based Services, Motion Picture and Television Fund
Christine Rossi-Wright
Senior Program Worker, AFC
Lori Rubinstein
Executive Director, Behind the Scenes Foundation
Samantha Squeri
Director of Theatre Production and Finance, NBC Universal and Independent Producer
Samantha E. Stepleton, MSW, LCSW
Director of Social Services, Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation
Pat White
Department Director, Education and Training, IATSE