The hotly anticipated series, Love Island, is back and this time it’s in scorching South Africa. The first episode aired last night (Sunday the 12th at 9 pm on ITV2) The line-up of singles headed to the brand new luxury villa in Cape Town.

After previous contestants have sadly taken their own lives after appearing on the show, there has been a lot of speculation about how being in the spotlight and receiving negative feedback from the public negatively affected their mental health.

Sophie Gradon, who appeared on the ITV2 show in 2016 took her own life at her family home in Medburn, Ponteland on 20 June 2018. The 32 year old was found by her boyfriend Arron Armstrong, 25 who later went on to take his own life just 20 days later.

just one day before Arron took his own life, he wrote a heartbreaking Instagram post saying “Just wish I could cuddle you”

Margate FC footballer and Love Island 2017 star Mike Thalassitis was found dead in an Essex woodland in March 2019. Former Love Island contestant Montana Brown, Mike had been in a “dark place” in the months leading up to his death.

Former Love Island winner Jack Fincham has also spoken out about his mental health, and in a recent interview, he put his advice forward for future contestants saying:

“Remember who you actually are, don’t go changing. Remember where you came from, and keep your original people around you, because you’re going to get loads of new friends.

“But keep the ones you’ve known for years who have always been your friend around you – don’t neglect them. That’s really important. Look after your money, because it comes and it can go just as quickly. And just stay grounded.”

How Love Island will care for its contestants

Before and during filming:

  • Psychological consultant engaged throughout the whole series – from pre-filming to aftercare.
  • Thorough pre-filming psychological and medical assessments including assessments by an independent doctor, psychological consultant and discussion with each islander’s own GP to check medical history.
  • Potential islanders are required to fully disclose any relevant medical history before their inclusion in the villa and the production’s ability to provide a suitable environment for them.
  • Managing cast expectations: detailed explanations both verbally and in writing of the implications, both positive and negative, of taking part in the series are given to potential cast members throughout the casting process and reinforced within the contract so it is clear.
  • Cast are told they should consider all the potential implications of taking part in the show and work through this decision-making process in consultation with their family and those closest to them, to ensure they feel it is right for them.
  • Senior team on the ground have received training in mental health first aid.
  • A welfare team solely dedicated to the islanders both during the show and after.

Aftercare:

  • Bespoke training on dealing with social media and advice on finance and adjusting to life back home.
  • A minimum of eight therapy sessions will be provided to each islander when they return home.
  • Proactive contact with islanders for a period of 14 months up until the end of the next series. This means contact with the islander will last for 14 months after the series in which they have appeared has ended, with additional help provided where applicable.
  • Encourage islanders to secure management to represent them after the show and manage them should they choose to take part in other TV shows, advertising campaigns or other public appearance opportunities.

In the Summer of 2019, Love Island was the most tweeted about tv show with over 7 million fans sharing their opinions and many of them very nasty! So, this year as the couples flirt, graft, date, break up and makeup, please remember these are real people and in a world where you can be anything, BE KIND!

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, we have included support contacts below.

Text Shout to 85258

Samaritans
Provides confidential emotional support for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair.
Helpline: 08457 90 90 90 (24 hours a day, seven days a week)
Website: 
www.samaritans.org

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