Love Island has released an updated set of guidelines outlining the ITV2 reality show’s duty of care policies for new prospective Islanders, ahead of the fifth series, which begins in June.
Upgraded provisions will include a minimum of eight therapy sessions for each Islander on their return home as well as “proactive contact” from the team for a period of 14 months afterwards.
The show was challenged over its support procedures following the deaths of two former contestants, series two star Sophie Gradon and series three’s Mike Thalassitis, in the space of 12 months.
The Love Island production team has worked with mental health specialist Dr Paul Litchfield, a former government Chief Medical Officer, ahead of the 2019 series to independently review the show and help “evolve and enhance” Love Island’s duty of care arrangements.
Love Island 2018 cast (ITV Pictures)
Dr Litchfield, who has been working with Love Island for the past eight months, said, “I have reviewed Love Island’s duty of care processes from end to end and they show a degree of diligence that demonstrates the seriousness with which this is taken by the production team.
“The processes and the support offered to Islanders have necessarily evolved as the show has developed and grown in popularity. The aim throughout has been to identify vulnerabilities at an early stage so that necessary adjustments can be made or potential Islanders can be advised that the show is not right for them.”
Dr Litchfield added that the series has reevaluated its support procedures for contestants both before, during and after appearing on Love Island.
“A high level of professional expertise has been engaged to provide comprehensive support not only while young people are actively engaged with the show but also for an extended period when they are adjusting to life thereafter,” he said. “Professional input is a key element in safeguarding the wellbeing of Islanders but the genuine caring attitudes I have observed from those who make the show are as important.”
According to the new guidelines, contestants will receive bespoke training on dealing with social media, as well as advice on finance and adjusting to life back home following their appearance on the show.
A minimum of eight therapy sessions will be provided to each Islander when they return home. In addition, “proactive contact” will be maintained with the contestants for a period of 14 months after the series has ended.
The new guidelines come after ITV released a statement in March following the death of Thalassitis, saying it would take a more “proactive” approach to caring for former Islanders.
Ahead of the new series launch on 3rd June, Creative Director of ITV Studios Entertainment Richard Cowles said, “We’re very excited that Love Island is back for another series. It is the nation’s favourite dating show and we have a fabulous new cast of young singles all looking for love and ready for a summer of romance in the iconic Love Island villa.
“Due to the success of the show our Islanders can find themselves in the public eye following their appearance. We really want to make sure they have given real consideration to this and what appearing on TV entails. Discussing all of this with us forms a big part of the casting process and, ultimately, their decision to take part.
“Our welfare processes follow three key stages: pre-filming, filming and aftercare and we are increasing our post filming support to help Islanders following their time in villa.”
Love Island launches on 3rd June on ITV2