Former Love Island contestant Alex Miller has admitted he experienced suicidal thoughts after leaving the show.
Alex, who appeared on the fourth series of the ITV2 reality hit, opened up about the “dark patch” he went through last year, but credited a producer with helping him through it.
Speaking after ITV announced big changes to the aftercare support system for contestants following the deaths of stars Mike Thalassitis and Sophie Gradon, Alex revealed a worker on the show previously reached out to him after seeing a worrying social media post.
“I did go through a dark patch where I would look at bridges and think ‘Yeah, I could drive into that’,” Alex told Fubar Radio.
“I was in a dark place. It was winter time, there was a lot of factors coming up, knowing that everything was sort of coming to an end like getting back into the old routine in the job.”
He continued: “I had a little rant on Instagram. I went through a bit of a dark patch and luckily one of the producers follow me on Instagram saw the rant got in touch with me and put me back in touch with a psychiatrist.
“Looking back, all I needed to do was be forward and go talk to them.”
The 28-year-old said the therapy helped him to move on with his life.
“I didn’t want to talk to anyone about it, but after having ranted after answering a fan’s questions and speaking to the Love Island psychiatrist, it got me through it and gave me a plan on how to take my life forward and now we’re here,” Alex said. “We’re all good.”
Asked if his mental health struggles were linked to Love Island, he added: “It was going back into the reality bit of – this is what I am back into now.
“Everything has died a death, you’ve fallen off the cliff of reality fame. It’s not what it is cracked up to be.”
Following Mike Thalassitis’ death last Saturday, many former Islanders spoke out against the aftercare support they received after appearing on the show.
ITV later announced they would be introducing “bespoke” social media and financial training for future contestants, as well as being more proactive in their approach to checking in with former Islanders, following an independent review of their processes.
A spokesperson said: “This review has led us to extend our support processes to offer therapy to all Islanders and not only those that reach out to us.
“The key focus will be for us to no longer be reliant on the islanders asking us for support but for us to proactively check in with them on a regular basis.”
Useful websites and helplines:
- Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393
- Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123 (UK and ROI - this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill.)
- The Mix is a free support service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Rethink Mental Illness offers practical help through its advice line which can be reached on 0300 5000 927 (open Monday to Friday 10am-4pm). More info can be found on www.rethink.org.