Love Island star says show's aftercare is "too little too late"

Joe Anderton
Photo credit: ITV

From Digital Spy

Love Island star Jonny Mitchell has spoken out against the aftercare support provided by the show following the tragic death of Mike Thalassitis.

Both Mike and Jonny appeared on the 2017 series of the ITV2 reality series, and Jonny has now said that any aftercare the show does provide is "too little too late" following on from the news that Mike had passed away over the weekend.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, Jonny said: "I’m not here to discredit the show but one of my friends has died so I’m here to tell the absolute truth.

"As far as aftercare goes... when I came off the show I was trolled to ridiculous amounts, as a lot of people were, but I had a particularly bad time of it.

"The only time I ever had a call off that show offering any kind of counselling or help was yesterday, obviously after Mike’s died and they’ve said, 'If you need to talk to anyone'. And to be honest I found it almost quite laughable."

He continued: "I just thought, 'How am I getting this phone call now? This is too little too late?'

"They all follow us on Instagram, they all read the papers, they all know what’s going on. They knew what sort of stress Mike was under and what many other people have been under.

Photo credit: Channel 4

"This call for counselling should have come six months ago for Mike, and it might have changed... All it would have taken was potentially one person to speak to him," he added.

"Mike was a strong guy who didn’t want to air his problems, but if it was a confidential psychologist talking to him, who knows... it could have changed things completely."

ITV has issued a statement to the press that reads: "Care for our Islanders is a process the show takes very seriously and is a continuous process for all those taking part in the show.

"We ensure that all of our contributors are able to access psychological support before, during and after appearing on the show. The programme will always provide ongoing support when needed and where appropriate.

"We also discuss at length with all of our Islanders, before and after the show, how their lives might change and they have access to support and advice to help with this."

Another former co-star, Montana Brown, broke down in tears on This Morning today (March 18) as she remembered her friend and revealed that she regrets not responding to the last text message Thalassitis sent her days before his passing.

"I'm kicking myself because he texted me and I didn't actually reply, because I'm really bad on my phone," she said. "And you overthink everything, like what you do, and I just wish I'd replied."

As well as tributes from the stars of Love Island, E4's Celebs Go Dating paid their respects on-air, while Sam Thompson also called Mike "one of the most polite gentleman I have ever met".

BBC Radio 5 Live Breakfast is on every day from 6am.

We would encourage anyone who identifies with the topics raised in this article to reach out. Organisations who can offer support include Samaritans on 116 123 (www.samaritans.org), and Mind on 0300 123 3393 (www.mind.org.uk). Readers in the US are encouraged to contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on 1-800-273-8255 or visit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

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