Love Island vows to improve psychotherapy aftercare following death of Mike Thalassitis
The ITV reality show has faced criticism in the wake of the deaths of two former contestants
Love Island has announced that it is to improve its mental health aftercare for series participants, offering therapy to all former contestants rather than only those who actively request it.
The move comes after the recent suicide of series three star Mike Thalassitis, the second Islander to take his own life, following the death in 2018 of Sophie Gradon, who appeared in series two of the ITV2 reality show.
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In a statement (below), Love Island laid out its three-stage "continuous and ongoing... duty of care" process – "pre-filming, filming, and aftercare" – and said it began a review into the system six months ago.
It said aftercare therapy would now be offered to "all Islanders and not only those that reach out," with additional advice given to future contestants about social media and financial management.
Thalassitis, nicknamed "Muggy Mike" during the 2017 show, died on Saturday, while Gradon, a contestant during the 2016 series, died last June.
Their deaths have prompted widespread calls for the show to provide participants with better psychological care, with Health Secretary Matt Hancock saying that he was "very worried about the support for the mental health of contestants on reality TV shows".
"I think that it is a duty on any organisation that is putting people in the position of making them famous overnight, that they should also look after them afterwards," said Hancock.
Read ITV’s full statement about Mike Thalassitis, and Love Island’s existing and future support processes for contestants: