Love Island outlines duty of care procedures for 10th series
Extensive protocols include suspending social media, training in language and behaviour and ongoing support before, during and after filming
Guidelines and welfare reflect former Islanders’ feedback
ITV, Lifted Entertainment (part of ITV Studios) and Motion Content Group have announced duty of care procedures ahead of their tenth series, due to begin on ITV2 and ITVX this summer.
Programme contributors will be offered a full package of measures to ensure they remain supported prior to, during and after the filming period on the show.
After an initial trial period, the show will now formally introduce a guideline asking participants to pause social media handles and accounts for the duration of their time on the show, to ensure that both the Islanders and their families are protected from the adverse effects of social media.
The Love Island Duty of Care policies and procedures are reviewed after each series and reflect feedback from former Islanders.
Series 5 Islander Amy Hart commented on her experiences with with social media:
“I didn’t really take into account when I went into the villa that although my best friend was really excited to run my social media account, it was me that signed up to do the show, not my family and not my friends. But it was them that had to read the death threats and it was them that had to read the horrible messages. Whereas when I came out, I came out to a great reaction because of the way that I left, and they were the ones who had a hard time when I was in there.”
Series 8 finalist Tasha Ghouri added:
“I think this is great and needs to be done. I believe it’s 100% the right step in the right direction, I could see there was a lot less trolling and negativity.”
All Islanders will complete video training and guidance across a range of topics to include mutually respectful behaviour in relationships, behaviour patterns associated with controlling and coercive behaviour and language around disability, sexuality, race and ethnicity, and microaggressions before they meet their fellow Islanders. The inclusion training consists of conversations chaired by BCOMS (Black Collective of Media in Sport) founder Leon Mann MBE with DEI (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) consultant Hayley Bennett, disability specialist Shani Dhanda and broadcaster Sean Fletcher. First introduced ahead of Series 8 in 2022, these discussions will tackle topics including inclusive language and behaviour, creating safe spaces and being a good ally.
Prior to appearing on the show, prospective Islanders will also watch a video fronted by the show’s Executive Producer and Head of Welfare, interviewing former Islanders about their experiences on the show. This includes details on the two week period before they enter the Villa, how to cope being filmed 24/7, the interaction they will have with producers in the Villa, the support provided to family members, dealing with social media trolling, and adapting to life away from the show.
On the show’s welfare procedures, Series 7 winner Liam Reardon said:
"I found the welfare chats helpful as it gave us a chance to have a small break from villa life and being able to talk to someone off camera. It was nice to speak to someone every few days who wasn’t in the villa and who were there to just listen or offer advice.
The psychiatrists were a big help too for when times got a little hard.”
Amy Hart added:
“The Welfare team were really supportive after I left. I also had a lot of therapy with the Therapist I had in the villa, so it was lovely to have that continuation of care, and ITV were really supportive of that.”
Dr Paul Litchfield said:
“The measures put in place to safeguard the health and wellbeing of Islanders continue to evolve in the light of experience and advances in best practice. Love Island is seen by many as the benchmark for the genre and its rigorous, evidence based approach has helped to raise standards across the industry.”
Dr Matthew Gould said:
"Maintaining on-going creativity combined with enhanced duty of care is the difficult equation to balance, and significant strides have been made in this respect. It is important not to stifle the spark and spontaneity that Islanders uniquely bring to the format. A determined focus on building the psychological evidence-base will help to maintain this balance.”
Both Dr Paul Litchfield and Dr Matthew Gould continue to independently review and continually evolve the duty of care measures ITV has in place and to work alongside programme makers. Both Dr Litchfield and Dr Gould bring extensive experience in the area of mental health.
A full overview of the welfare service offered to Islanders includes:
- Comprehensive psychological support
- Training for all Islanders on the impacts of social media and handling potential negativity
- Training for all Islanders on financial management
- Detailed conversations with Islanders regarding the impact of participation on the show
- A proactive aftercare package which extends support to all Islanders following their participation on the show
- Guidance and advice on taking on management after the show
These protocols continue to be evaluated and reviewed ahead of each series, evolving in line with the popularity of the series and the increasing level of attention around the Islanders.
The full duty of care process is outlined below:
Pre Filming and Filming
- Registered mental health professional engaged throughout the whole series - from pre-filming to aftercare.
- Thorough pre-filming psychological and medical assessments including assessments by an independent doctor, psychological consultant and reports from each Islander’s own GP to check medical history.
- Potential Islanders are required to fully disclose in confidence any medical history that would be relevant to their inclusion in the Villa and the production’s ability to provide a suitable environment for them.
- Managing cast expectations: detailed explanations both verbally and in writing of the implications, both positive and negative, of taking part in the series are given to potential cast members throughout the casting process and reinforced within the contract so it is clear.
- Cast are told they should consider all the potential implications of taking part in the show and work through this decision-making process in consultation with their family and those closest to them, to ensure they feel it is right for them.
- Senior Team on the ground have received training in Mental Health First Aid.
- A welfare team solely dedicated to the Islanders both during the show and after.
- Bespoke training on dealing with social media and advice on finance and adjusting to life back home.
- A minimum of eight therapy sessions will be offered to each Islander when they return home.
- 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.
- We encourage Islanders to secure management to represent them after the show and manage them should they choose to take part in other TV shows, advertising campaigns or other public appearance opportunities.
ITV’s support for Mental Health
In 2019 ITV selected mental health as the main focus for its on air health campaigns aimed at its viewers. ITV partnered with Mind and YoungMinds, alongside SAMH in Scotland, and Ant and Dec launched the Britain Get Talking campaign in Britain’s Got Talent, with the aim of encouraging 10m people to take action to support their mental or physical health by 2023. Since it launched, Britain Get Talking has resulted in over 100 million more meaningful conversations, and in 2022 ITV announced a further target of encouraging 200 million actions for better health by the end of 2023.
Alongside Britain Get Talking, ITV has a mental wellbeing initiative aimed at a younger demographic in partnership with mental health charity Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM). In 2022 it encouraged 1.8m young people to take action to feel better able to cope with life’s ups and downs through the campaign 'What Gets You Through'.
ITV's Mental Health Advisory Group, chaired by Ruth Davidson with members including CEOs of mental health charities Mind, YoungMinds and SAMH, provides guidance and support on all aspects of ITV, and STV’s, approach to mental health and wellbeing among its people, production teams, participants in its shows and audiences.
ITV also hosted the Mental Health in the Media conference in March 2023, bringing writers, producers, duty of care professionals, brands and broadcasters together to explore best practice around mental wellbeing on screen and behind the screens.
Notes to Editors
Matthew Gould Biography
Dr Matthew Gould is a Consultant Chartered Clinical Psychologist with international, public and private sector experience of assessing and managing psychological performance, risk and health in hazardous settings. Dr Gould has particular expertise in leading on psychological governance to ensure organisations meet their Duty of Care and regulatory obligations. Dr Gould is a registered Practitioner Psychologist (Clinical) with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), a Chartered member of the British Psychological Society (BPS) and a full member of the Division of Clinical Psychology.
Paul Litchfield Biography
Dr Paul Litchfield has been active in the field of workplace health and safety for over 40 years, holding senior executive positions in both the public and the private sector. He has been involved in numerous UK national, European and global initiatives to promote good physical and mental health, to improve rehabilitation back into work and to reduce the stigma of mental ill health.
From 2015 until 2021 he was Chair of the UK’s What Works Centre for Wellbeing, which is dedicated to understanding what can be done to improve wellbeing across society and he continues to hold advisory roles with the Health & Safety Executive, NHS England and several other bodies. Paul has undertaken a number of independent reviews for the UK Government over the past 10 years looking at health related benefits and employment support for people with a mental health condition. He writes and speaks regularly around the world on health and wellbeing in a workplace context.
In 2007 Paul was awarded the OBE for services to occupational health and in 2018 he was created a CBE for services to workplace wellbeing.
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