Former Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson will chair ITV’s new Mental Health Advisory Group, created following the deaths of participants on Love Island and The Jeremy Kyle Show.
Davidson, who was diagnosed with clinical depression as a teenager, said she is delighted” to be offered the role as a non-paid advisor to ITV and STV shows.
Delighted to accept the invitation from @ITV & @WeAreSTV to chair their Mental Health Advisory Group. @itv & @WeAreSTV are committed to supporting the mental wellbeing of staff & contributors, and to use their platforms to change the way we talk about mental health in the UK.
— Ruth Davidson (@RuthDavidsonMSP) October 15, 2019
In a statement, Davidson added that she was “excited to be involved” because “it’s so important to talk”.
“Television can have a huge impact on people’s lives and on the life of the nation,” she said. “Creating a culture which supports the mental health of one another is so important and ITV and STV’s position means they can make a real difference in working towards this goal. I look forward to working with ITV and STV to make a genuine difference to people’s lives.”
Last month a House of Commons culture select committee, which was investigating whether enough support and aftercare is offered to reality TV contestants, heard from former participants from Love Island and The Jeremy Kyle Show.
Love Island’s Marcel Somerville and Yewande Biala gave evidence following the deaths of Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis, who took part in the second and third series of the ITV2 dating show, respectively.
Earlier this year The Jeremy Kyle Show was cancelled after the death of series guest Steve Dymond, who had taken a lie detector test on the show.