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Love Island 2019 is on its way, confirmed to be returning to our screens next month on 3 June.
But while most people are talking about the ITV2 show for its rumoured contestants and neon pink water bottles, today the show made news for its new duty of care process.
The past year has seen two ex-islanders, Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis, as well as Sophie's boyfriend Aaron Armstrong, take their own lives, prompting calls for the show to be axed following reports that their mental health was affected from appearing on the show.
In response to claims that there hasn’t been enough after-care for the show’s contestants who suddenly find themselves catapulted to fame, ITV has today announced their new duty of care processes ahead of season 5.
‘The production team have continued to evolve their processes with each series, as the show’s popularity has risen and the social and media attention on Islanders has increased,’ the statement read. ‘The key changes this year are – enhanced psychological support, more detailed conversations with potential Islanders regarding the impact of participation on the show, bespoke training for all Islanders on social media and financial management and a proactive aftercare package which extends our support to all Islanders following their participation.’
‘Our welfare processes follow three key stages: pre-filming, filming and aftercare,’ Creative Director of ITV Studios Entertainment, Richard Cowles, said of the new strategy. ‘And we are increasing our post filming support to help Islanders following their time in villa.’
The duty of care process for series 5 includes:
Pre Filming and Filming
- Psychological consultant 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 discussion with each Islander’s own GP to check medical history.
- Potential Islanders are required to fully disclose any relevant 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 provided to each Islander when they return home.
- Proactive contact with islanders for a period of 14 months up until the end of the next series.
- This means contact with the Islander will last for 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.
Love Island returns to ITV2 on 3 June 2019.
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Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.
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