United Kingdom

Love Island bosses hire clinical psychologist and overhaul their 'duty of care'

Love Island chiefs have dramatically overhauled their 'duty of care' after two former contestants died.

The ITV2 series will hire a clinical psychologist, Dr Matthew Gould, to review the show's procedures and monitor stars. 

Love Island has not aired since February 2020 after both the summer 2020 and winter 2021 editions were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

ITV listed the show's new duty of care protocols in a statement, which will support Islanders before, during and after filming for the next season - which will start June 28.

It comes after Love Island previously addressed their duty of care after two islanders; Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis, and host Caroline Flack, tragically died by suicide within a period of 20 months.  

The protocols are in line with the show's last series but will also now feature Dr Gould, who joined ITV last year and will work with Dr Litchfield, an external advisor to the business. 

Love Island will hire a clinical psychologist, Dr Matthew Gould, to review the show's procedures and monitor stars. Pictured, host Laura Whitmore

It comes after Love Island previously addressed their duty of care after two islanders; Sophie Gradon (left) and Mike Thalassitis (right), and host Caroline Flack, tragically died by suicide within a period of 20 months

You've got a text! The news was revealed by Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield on Wednesday's This Morning where, in the style of the show, they received a text confirming the date as Monday June 28 at 9pm 

The two medical professionals will continue to independently review and evolve the duty of care measures ITV currently has in place.

The current and full duty of care process sees comprehensive psychological support, detailed conversations with Islanders regarding the impact of participation on the show and a proactive aftercare package which offers support. 

Other measures in place include training for contestants with social media, handling potential negativity, financial management and taking on management.

The duty of care process will regularly be reviewed and evolve in line with the increasing popularity of the show.

Talking about the processes in place, Dr Gould said: 'Duty of care is not a static goal. It evolves with public expectation, legislation, and with the commercial development of the programme format in order to maintain creativity. 

'Effective delivery of care is an exercise in collaboration especially between health professionals, programme participants and producers. Also, it can be especially influenced by senior leaders within an organisation. 

'My appointment last year in a new role to broaden the duty of care effort is testament to the seriousness which ITV gives this subject.'

After Mike's (pictured) death in 2019, producers announced key changes to Islanders' duty of care and said all would be able to access therapy sessions, social media and financial training, and a minimum of 14 months of 'proactive' contact 

Love Island duty of care protocols in full - ahead of 2021 series   

Pre-filming and filming

Aftercare 

While Dr Paul Litchfield added: 'Society's appreciation of the importance of mental health and wellbeing has grown enormously in recent years and the pandemic has brought that into even sharper focus. 

'Reducing the risk of harm, where possible, is an imperative but promoting good mental health is also necessary. ITV's evolving commitment to these issues, backed up by tangible action, is an example to others in the industry and beyond.'

ITV's guidelines and policies are fully compliant with Ofcom's Broadcasting Code to protect the welfare of those participating in TV programmes, including those amendments which came into effect in April 2021. 

After Mike's death in 2019, producers announced key changes to Islanders' duty of care and said all would be able to access therapy sessions, social media and financial training, and a minimum of 14 months of 'proactive' contact.

The ITV show addressed their duty of care after two islanders; Sophie and Mike and host Caroline tragically died by suicide within a period of 20 months.

Sophie, 32, took her own life back in June 2018 after appearing on season two of the show two years prior. Her heartbroken boyfriend Aaron Armstrong, 25, took his own life just 20 days later.

Mike rose to fame on the third season of the show. The 26-year-old footballer tragically lost his life to suicide a year after Sophie in March 2019.

And in February 2020, the host of Love Island, Caroline, was found dead at her home after taking her own life, a day after hearing the Crown Prosecution Service would go ahead with a trial for allegedly attacking her boyfriend Lewis Burton in 2019.  

Following contestant Mike's passing in 2019, ITV stated the team had ramped up the aftercare available to stars who appear on the show.

'We are outlining today our welfare processes follow three key stages: pre-filming, filming and aftercare,' creative Director ITV Studios Entertainment Richard Cowles said at the time.

'We are increasing our post filming support to help Islanders following their time in villa.' 

The network said each contestant now receives 'bespoke training on dealing with social media and advice on finance and adjusting to life back home, a minimum of eight therapy sessions when they return home, and proactive contact with islanders for a period of 14 months up until the end of the next series,' among other details.

ITV has previously been accused of 'hypocrisy' after The Jeremy Kyle Show was axed permanently following the death of guest Steven Dymond, 63, who was found dead a week after appearing on the programme.   

Over the years, former Love Island contestants have spoke about their time on the show with Niall Aslam revealing last year that he had to leave the series in 2018 after nine days due to stress-induced psychosis and hallucinations.

In December, Niall, 25, confessed he was prescribed heavy medication after he lost touch of reality and began hallucinating.

The social media star also confirmed he suffered from severe depression when he exited hospital and needed to be monitored by a crisis team.

Sophie, 32, took her own life back in June 2018 after appearing on season two of the show. Her heartbroken boyfriend, Aaron Armstrong, 25, took his own life 20 days later

In February 2020, the host of Love Island, Caroline Flack (pictured), was found dead at her home after taking her own life, a day after hearing the Crown Prosecution Service would go ahead with a trial for allegedly attacking her boyfriend Lewis Burton in 2019 

In a candid Instagram video, he said: 'I came out and talked about my Asperger's and I was diagnosed at 10-years-old, that was basically the reason I left Love Island.

'But what actually happened to me, I ended up watching Love Island in a psychiatric hospital in London, the Nightingale Hospital to be exact.

'What I later found out is that I had stress-induced psychosis... essentially what it is, you get so overwhelmed that you lose touch with reality.

'You kind of hallucinate you don't know what's going on, you're not fully aware of your surroundings, you're not safe, you need other people to look after you.

'It takes quite a lot of time to come down from that, but when you come down from it you really come down, you go into a really deep depression.

'I was at the hospital for two weeks but in my head I wasn't fully aware of what was going on, I thought it was because of my Asperger's.'

When he was released from the hospital, Niall said he still struggled to comprehend what had happened as he was left to deal with the aftermath of his Love Island exit.

Shock: Over the years, former Love Island contestants have spoke about their time on the show with Niall Aslam revealing last year that he had to leave the series in 2018 after nine days due to stress-induced psychosis and hallucinations (pictured in 2018 still) 

Difficult: Love Island's Amy Hart (pictured on the show) said at a talk at the Cambridge Union in May that her parents were warned about 'harrowing' scenes in which she broke down over her romance ending with Curtis Pritchard 

Struggle: Rosie Williams, centre, also explained that she told bosses to 'get her off set' when she was at 'breaking point' on the show

'Then I had to come off the medication, I was on Xanax, really really strong stuff. I just 'cold turkey-ed' it, that was horrible.

'It was a really upside down time for me. I think it took quite a long time for me to recover fully from it because of the Love Island situation.

Love Island: When did producers announce key changes to Islanders' duty of care? 

After Mike's death in 2019, producers announced key changes to Islanders' duty of care and said all would be able to access therapy sessions, social media and financial training, and a minimum of 14 months of 'proactive' contact.

The ITV show addressed their duty of care after two islanders; Sophie and Mike and host Caroline tragically died by suicide within a period of 20 months.

Sophie, 32, took her own life back in June 2018 after appearing on season two of the show two years prior. Her heartbroken boyfriend Aaron Armstrong, 25, took his own life just 20 days later.

Mike rose to fame on the third season of the show. The 26-year-old footballer tragically lost his life to suicide a year after Sophie in March 2019.

And in February 2020, the host of Love Island, Caroline, was found dead at her home after taking her own life, a day after hearing the Crown Prosecution Service would go ahead with a trial for allegedly attacking her boyfriend Lewis Burton in 2019.  

Following contestant Mike's passing in 2019, ITV stated the team had ramped up the aftercare available to stars who appear on the show.

'We are outlining today our welfare processes follow three key stages: pre-filming, filming and aftercare,' creative Director ITV Studios Entertainment Richard Cowles said at the time.

'We are increasing our post filming support to help Islanders following their time in villa.' 

'I was trying to get back to reality and my reality was different. I was really struggling... I was all over the place, I was depressed, I was avoiding things.'

According to the Coventry native, everyone assumed he was having an amazing time after the ITV show but he was constantly being checked on by a crisis team.

Asperger syndrome is a lifelong disability that affects how people communicate and interact with others.

It is a profile within the autism spectrum. There are around 700,000 autistic children and adults in the UK. 

Just last month, Amy Hart said that her parents were warned about 'harrowing' scenes she had filmed during her stint on Love Island.

The flight attendant, 28, who quit the 2019 series after a heartbreaking split from Curtis Prichard, took part in a talk about mental health on the show at the Cambridge Union, alongside fellow villa alum Rosie Williams and Yewande Biala.

Welsh solicitor Rosie, 29, also claimed she once told show bosses to 'get her off set' because she was at 'breaking point' after filming one of the series' challenges.

Amy explained: 'They are in constant contact with your family as well so they would call my parents and say, "Okay so tonight's episode, you are going to find it quite harrowing but I am in the gallery now, I'm looking at Amy, she's with the girls and she is fine".

'And my mum kept saying to the producers, "She does know she can leave, doesn't she? She does know she can leave whenever she wants?" and they're like, "Yes, she knows she can leave".

'But I just thought, it's hard for us to live it, it must be so hard for our parents to watch it.'

Amy then joked: 'Turns out my mum and dad were hanging out with Phil and Holly so they weren't actually that bothered.'

The blonde beauty suffered a tumultuous time during her stint on Love Island in 2019 and was unceremoniously dumped by 'half boyfriend' Curtis, 25, when he developed feelings for other women during the Casa Amor segment of the show. 

Fans had raised concerns for Amy's mental health at the time the show aired after she broke down in tears following the dancer's betrayal in devastating scenes, with the dramatic recoupling sparking nearly 200 Ofcom complaints.

Amy announced she'd quit the show soon after, with a source telling The Sun at the time that she'd had her 'heart broken' and 'couldn't stand the thought of seeing Curtis crack on with other girls while under the same roof as her'. 

Elsewhere during the mental health chat, Rosie recalled how she had to get off set quickly following a challenge where Adam Collard had to put make-up on her whilst blindfolded, which she said made her feel 'completely humiliated'.

She told students at Cambridge University: 'I could feel I was at breaking point, you know at that point, when you are doing the challenges you know you're being filmed and I felt the whole world - well not the whole world - the whole nation is seeing me being completely humiliated by this guy.

'All I can do is let him do it as we were in the middle of a challenge. I just remember saying: "You need to get me out of here and get me off the set".'

Rosie added: 'That was the day I went and spoke to somebody about what was going on. It takes you getting to breaking point to say "I need help, I need to speak to someone."' 

The trio also spoke about how they have a therapist on set at all times, with Yewande saying once she admitted she was 'not okay' and went to see her it helped improve her mental health. 

In 2019, following the key changes to Islanders' duty of care, several former contestants praised the measures in place.

Praise: In 2019, following the key changes to Islanders' duty of care, several former contestants praised the measures in place -  Olivia Bowen told MailOnline at the time: 'I was in constant contact with the producers for a very long time.' (pictured recently) 

Olivia Bowen told MailOnline at the time: 'I was in constant contact with the producers for a very long time. I got offered psychological tests when I got out.

'I got offered counselling when I got out. I got a list of agencies. Honestly, they really did look after me, and Alex. They always checked in with us, and I’m still good friends with them now. Love Island is there for you if you need them.' 

While Laura Anderson said during a Build London interview in 2019: 'My experience with it all was amazing. It’s not just aftercare, it’s before, during and after. 

'In there as well they are constantly monitoring you. Producers are always asking if you’re OK. I feel like probably all of our experiences were really good.' 

It comes after it was reported that contestants for the 2021 series of Love Island are reportedly already in quarantine in Spain, as they prepare to make their grand debuts on the ITV show. 

Love Island: What have Islanders said about their time and care on the show?  

Niall Aslam 

Niall Aslam revealed last year that he had to leave the series in 2018 after nine days due to stress-induced psychosis and hallucinations.  

In a candid video shared in December, Niall, 25, confessed he was prescribed heavy medication after he lost touch of reality and began hallucinating.

The social media, who has Asperger's, star also confirmed he suffered from severe depression when he exited hospital and needed to be monitored by a crisis team.  

Amy Hart 

Just last month, Amy Hart said that her parents were warned about 'harrowing' scenes she had filmed during her stint on Love Island.

The flight attendant, 28, who quit the 2019 series after a heartbreaking split from Curtis Prichard, took part in a talk about mental health on the show at the Cambridge Union.

Amy explained: 'They are in constant contact with your family as well so they would call my parents and say, "Okay so tonight's episode, you are going to find it quite harrowing but I am in the gallery now, I'm looking at Amy, she's with the girls and she is fine".

'And my mum kept saying to the producers, "She does know she can leave, doesn't she? She does know she can leave whenever she wants?" and they're like, "Yes, she knows she can leave".

'But I just thought, it's hard for us to live it, it must be so hard for our parents to watch it.'

Amy previously told Grazia in 2019 about the care on offer: 'I can’t fault the support. People have had a lot of bad things to say about them and they might have upped the aftercare, but it’s the same team who’ve worked on the show for five years. I don’t agree with the criticism – they are amazing.' 

Rosie Williams

Rosie Williams took part in a talk about mental health on the show at the Cambridge Union in May, saying there was a therapist on set at all times. 

Welsh solicitor Rosie, 29, also claimed she once told show bosses to 'get her off set' because she was at 'breaking point' after filming one of the series' challenges. 

The reality star recalled how she had to get off set quickly following a challenge where Adam Collard had to put make-up on her whilst blindfolded, which she said made her feel 'completely humiliated'.    

Olivia Bowen 

Olivia Bowen told MailOnline in 2019: 'I was in constant contact with the producers for a very long time. I got offered psychological tests when I got out. 

'I got offered counselling when I got out. I got a list of agencies. Honestly, they really did look after me, and Alex. They always checked in with us, and I’m still good friends with them now. Love Island is there for you if you need them.' 

Laura Anderson   

Laura Anderson spoke about her experience on the show during a Build London interview in 2019.

The reality star recalled: 'My experience with it all was amazing. It’s not just aftercare, it’s before, during and after. 

'In there as well they are constantly monitoring you. Producers are always asking if you’re OK. I feel like probably all of our experiences were really good.' 

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