Love Island 2019: ITV to provide minimum of eight therapy sessions for contestants when they return home

Sabrina Barr

ITV has announced all contestants of this year's series of Love Island will receive a minimum of eight therapy sessions after the show has ended.

The production company has outlined several new "duty of care processes" ahead of the fifth season of the show, one of which is to provide participants with "enhanced psychological support".

Richard Cowles, creative director of ITV Studios Entertainment, explained that the firm's new welfare processes will follow three key stages – pre-filming, during filming and post-filming.

"Due to the success of the show our Islanders can find themselves in the public eye following their appearance," Cowles said in a statement released by ITV.

"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."

For series five of Love Island, psychological and medical assessments of all participants will be conducted prior to filming, ITV states.

These assessments will be analysed by an independent doctor and a psychological consultant, the production company says.

ITV adds that discussions will also be conducted with each of the Islander's GPs in order to check their medical history.

Following filming of the show, contestants will take part in "bespoke training", which will provide them with advice on how to cope with social media, how to handle their finances and how to adjust to life when they return home.

"Proactive contact with Islanders" will continue for up to 14 months after the show has ended.

Eight months ago, the production team working on Love Island enlisted the help of Dr Paul Litchfield, former chief medical officer, to provide guidance with regards to the mental health of the contestants.

"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," Dr Litchfield said.

"The processes and the support offered to Islanders have necessarily evolved as the show has developed and grown in popularity."

Dr Litchfield added that the aim of the duty of care processes is to "identify vulnerabilities at an early stage", so that participants who may not be suited for the reality programme "can be advised that the show is not right for them".

Following the news of Mike Thalassitis's death earlier this year, former Love Island stars urged the show to provide better mental health support for its contestants.

Dom Lever, who took part in the matchmaking competition in the same year as Thalassitis, claimed that the wellbeing of some participants is prioritised above others once filming has ended.

"You get a psychological evaluation before and after you go on the show but hands down once you are done on the show you don’t get any support unless you’re number one," he tweeted.

Malin Andersson, who took part in the show in 2016, said Love Island producers provided her with inadequate support following the death of her one-month-old daughter, Consy, in January.

"If I didn't have a strong head on me that my mum passed down to me, I wouldn't have been able to cope with this all," she tweeted.

Earlier this month, leading mental health experts urged for The Jeremy Kyle Show to be taken off air permanently, describing the television programme as a "theatre of cruelty".

Last week, it was announced the show had been cancelled following the death of guest Steve Dymond.

For all the latest news on Love Island, click here.

For confidential support on mental health call Samaritans free from any phone, at any time, on 116 123 (UK & ROI) or email jo@samaritans.org. In the US call 1-800-273-TALK or chat online.