Love Island contestants to be offered 'minimum of eight therapy sessions' after show

Love Island contestants will be offered “a minimum of eight therapy sessions” on their return home from appearing in the series, ITV has said.

All contestants involved in the ITV2 reality TV series will also receive training on the impact of social media and “how to handle potential negativity”, as well as training on financial management.

The measures are part of ITV’s duty of care protocols announced ahead of the seventh series starting on June 28.

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In 2019, The Jeremy Kyle Show was axed from ITV’s schedules amid growing scrutiny of the duty of care that reality TV shows have to participants following the death of a contestant, and Love Island also faced criticism following the deaths of former contestants Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis.

Among the processes detailed for all contributors on Love Island are “comprehensive psychological support”, “detailed conversations on the impact of participation on the show” and a “proactive aftercare package”, the broadcaster said.

ITV has also detailed pre-filming and filming, as well as aftercare processes for contestants.

Love Island contestants will be offered therapy sessions once they leave the show. Credit: PA

Pre-filming stipulations include contestants “disclosing any medical history” that would be relevant to their time in the villa, as well as the “managing of expectations of the cast”.

Aftercare procedures also include “proactive contact with Islanders for a period of 14 months after the series in which they have appeared has ended, with additional help provided where applicable”.

Dr Paul Litchfield, who was appointed by ITV in 2018 when it launched a review of Love Island’s participant welfare processes, said: “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.”

Laura Whitmore will front the latest series of Love Island. Credit: ITV

In May 2019, ITV released a comprehensive new set of duty of care processes ahead of the fifth series starting. The series was won by Amber Gill and Greg O’Shea.

This year’s series will once again be hosted by Laura Whitmore, and it will be the first time the ITV programme has aired since February 2020 after last year’s summer series was cancelled owing to the coronavirus pandemic.

The show’s former host Caroline Flack took her own life at the age of 40 in February 2020.

The location of the show, which is usually filmed in a villa in Majorca, is yet to be announced.

The new series will air on ITV 2 and ITV Hub.