Love Island introduces new welfare measures for contestants

ITV show has been subject of scrutiny in recent years following the suicides of contestants Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis and its former host Caroline Flack

Ellie Harrison
Wednesday 16 June 2021 16:05
Love Island winners Paige Turley and Finley Tapp return to the UK

ITV has announced new welfare measures for contestants on Love Island.

Islanders will be taught how to handle the “potential negativity” of social media as part of the ITV2 show’s latest duty of care protocols.

Participants will also be offered “comprehensive” psychological support as opposed to the “enhanced” support they were previously given.

ITV said “the level of social media and media attention around the islanders” has been a factor in how its support measures have developed.

Love Island has been the subject of much scrutiny in recent years following the suicides of former contestants Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis in 2018 and 2019, and of former host Caroline Flack in 2020.

As before, islanders on the forthcoming seventh season of the reality series will be offered a minimum of eight therapy sessions when they leave the villa. They will also be provided with advice on financial matters, along with 14 months of “proactive contact”.

In the lead up to filming, contestants will be given “detailed explanations” of the “positive and negative implications” of appearing on the show and they will be required to “fully disclose any medical history that would be relevant to their inclusion in the villa and the production’s ability to provide a suitable environment for them”.

Love Island stars Paige Turley and Finley Tapp

ITV said the cast should have a consultation “with their family and those closest to them, to ensure they feel it is right for them”.

Love Island will return to screens on 28 June, nearly 18 months after it last aired its winter series, which was won by Paige Turley and Finley Tapp.

If you are experiencing feelings of distress and isolation, or are struggling to cope, The Samaritans offers support; you can speak to someone for free over the phone, in confidence, on 116 123 (UK and ROI), email jo@samaritans.org, or visit the Samaritans website to find details of your nearest branch.

If you are based in the USA, and you or someone you know needs mental health assistance right now, call National Suicide Prevention Helpline on 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The Helpline is a free, confidential crisis hotline that is available to everyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.