Press Centre

Love Island confirms Duty of Care protocols 

Love Island confirms Duty of Care protocols 

2022 islanders to receive inclusion training exploring language and behaviour

ITV and Lifted Entertainment (part of ITV Studios) today publish details of their extended duty of care protocols, ahead of the forthcoming eighth series of ITV2 and ITV Hub’s Love Island. 

Extensive welfare measures remain in place to provide support to programme participants before, during and after filming. 

Ahead of this series, contributors on the show will be offered video training and guidance covering inclusive language around disability, sexuality, race and ethnicity, behaviours and microaggressions. 

The inclusion training, which Islanders are offered prior to entering the Villa, consists of conversations chaired by BCOMS (Black Collective of Media in Sport) founder Leon Mann MBE and including DEI (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) consultant Hayley Bennett, disability specialist Shani Dhanda and broadcaster Sean Fletcher. These discussions will tackle topics including inclusive language, behaviour, creating safe spaces and being a good ally. 

Ade Rawcliffe, Group Director of Diversity and Inclusion at ITV, said:

“The world we live in is changing every day, and we want all of our Islanders to feel they are part of an inclusive environment in the Villa. As part of our duty of care process, it is also important we play our part in educating our participants to understand and empathise with different perspectives and lived experiences.”

Additionally, before they go into the show, prospective Islanders will 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. 

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 

As with every year, these measures will be frequently reviewed and evolve in line with the popularity of the show and the increasing level of social media and media 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.

Aftercare

- 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.

Duty of Care and Welfare

In 2018 ITV launched a review of Love Island's participant welfare processes, appointing eminent physician and corporate Medical Advisor Dr Paul Litchfield, who has extensive experience in the area of mental health, to independently review and work with us to evolve and enhance our processes.

ITV developed a new Duty of Care framework and set of procedures to identify, assess and reduce risks associated with all shows made by or for ITV.  Love Island was prioritised and a comprehensive new set of Duty of Care processes for the show were published in May 2019 ahead of series 5.

ITV published its Duty of Care charter in June 2019 which laid out its commitment to the mental and physical well-being of all people working for, or with, ITV.  The same month ITV Studios introduced throughout their content making business, refreshed processes and guidance to manage and support the mental health and well-being of programme participants before, during and after production.  

In October 2019, ITV network extended these guidelines to cover all programmes made for broadcast on ITV, whether made by ITV Studios production houses or third party indies.  

In 2020, ITV engaged Dr Matthew Gould, a Consultant Chartered Clinical Psychologist, to work alongside Dr Litchfield, who remains an external advisor to the business.  Both 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. 

ITV’s guidelines and policies are fully compliant with Ofcom’s Broadcasting Code to protect the welfare of those participating in TV programmes, including those amendments which came into effect in April 2021. 

Dr Paul Litchfield said:

“The importance of promoting good mental health and avoiding psychological harm is now well understood and the measures ITV has put in place to safeguard the welfare of participants continue to evolve.  Being thrust into the glare of intense public scrutiny can be daunting and providing effective support to people living through that experience is critical.”  

Dr Gould said:

“Importantly, ITV’s procedures have continued to develop, especially towards formulating an improved evidence base in duty of care, which is important for the industry as a whole. Developing data on the lived experiences of contributors can positively influence welfare services and organisational efficiency. This data-driven approach is essential to provide rigorous science-based procedures to ensure the well-being of participants.”

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. Britain Get Talking has resulted in over 100 million more meaningful conversations since it began, and ITV announced a further target of encouraging 200 million actions for better health by the end of 2023. 

Alongside Britain Get Talking, in 2021 ITV2 launched an initiative aimed at a younger demographic in partnership with mental health charity Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM). In 2021 it encouraged 1.2 million young people to take action to feel better able to cope with life’s ups and downs. It continues in 2022 with the campaign What Gets You Through, encouraging young people to choose the wellness techniques that work for them. 

In October 2019, ITV announced the creation of a Mental Health Advisory Group, chaired by Ruth Davidson with members including Paul Farmer, CEO of mental health charity, Mind, Emma Thomas, CEO of Young Minds and Billy Watson, CEO of SAMH, on the advisory group which 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.  Dr Alex George, former Love Island star and UK Youth Mental Health Ambassador, has joined the advisory group this year. 

[end]

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.