ITV confirms 'Love Island' contestants to receive 'comprehensive psychological support'

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Love Island bosses have pledged to maintain contact with contestants for 14 months after the show ends. (ITV)

Love Island contestants will have medical history reports submitted by their GP as part of the ITV2 dating show's enhanced duty-of-care process.

The show – hosted by Laura Whitmore – has come under scrutiny for the effect taking part can have on participants' mental health, after former contestants Mike Thalassitis and Sophie Gradon both took own lives.

It is returning with its seventh series later this month after last year's summer season was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, and bosses have republished their pledge to offer contestants a minimum of eight therapy sessions after their time on the show.

Watch: Trailer for Love Island 2021

Read more: Montana Brown warns future Love Island stars that 'money and fame don't last forever'

As well as submitting the Islanders to psychological and medical assessments by an independent doctor before filming begins, producers will ask the contestants' own doctors to submit reports on their medical history.

The senior team of crew working with the contestants "on the ground" will receive training in mental health first aid, and there will be a welfare team solely dedicated to the Islanders both during the show and after.

The Love Island star sadly took his own life in March aged just 26 years old. He had competed on the ITV2 series in 2017 and prior to his television work he had a successful football career. (Photo by Joe Maher/Getty Images)
Former Love Island star Mike Thalasittis died aged just 26 in March 2019. (Getty Images)

As announced in 2019, the contestants will be offered therapy after they have finished filming, along with training on dealing with social media and advice on finance and adjusting to life after entering the spotlight.

ITV has also pledged to maintain proactive contact with Islanders for a period of 14 months after the show ends, with "additional help provided where applicable".

And the contestants will be advised to seek professional management to represent and advise them on any work they do after the show.

Former Miss Great Britain and 'Love Island' star Sophie Gradon, who died aged 32 in June 2018 (Credit: PA)
Former Miss Great Britain and Love Island star Sophie Gradon, who died aged 32 in June 2018. (PA)

ITV’s chief executive Carolyn McCall faced questioning about the welfare of contestants last year when she appeared before a government inquiry into the future of public service broadcasting.

McCall said ITV had created a duty-of-care plan for participants in such shows that went well beyond regulator Ofcom’s code.

Read more: ITV chief: I'd let my children take part in Love Island

Thalassitis died at the age of 26 in March 2019 after appearing on the show in 2017. Gradon was 32 when she died in 2018, two years after her appearance. 

If you’ve been affected by this story and want to talk to someone, you can call the Samaritans free on 116 123 or at jo@samaritans.org

Watch: Former Love Island stars Amber Gill, Anna Vakili and Yewande Biala discuss body issues

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