Love Island bosses vow to change aftercare policy to ‘offer support to ALL contestants’

Love Island bosses have confirmed that they will overhaul their aftercare policy, following the death of former contestant Mike Thalassitis on Saturday.

In a lengthy statement published on Tuesday, producers of the ITV2 show confirmed they would change policies to ensure that all Islanders are offered support before, during and after their time on the show, as well as social media and finance management training. 

It comes after Mike was found dead on Saturday morning in a park in North London aged just 26, with police later confirming he was found hanged.

Important: Love Island bosses have confirmed that they will overhaul their aftercare policy, following the death of former contestant Mike Thalassitis on Saturday

Important: Love Island bosses have confirmed that they will overhaul their aftercare policy, following the death of former contestant Mike Thalassitis on Saturday

Important: Love Island bosses have confirmed that they will overhaul their aftercare policy, following the death of former contestant Mike Thalassitis on Saturday

In the statement producers explained that they would be changing the outlying police towards mental care of all contestants, after many former stars hit out at producers for the lack of aftercare.

Outlining the process, they said: ‘When the time comes for each Islander to leave the show, our aftercare process kicks in. 

‘Every Islander has a series of debrief meetings on location with the executive team and the medical team, including the psychological consultant. 

‘After this, they are told how to access after care support as well as information on seeking professional representation. 

Changes: In a statement, producers of the ITV2 show confirmed they would change policies to ensure that all Islanders are offered support before, during and after their time on the show

Changes: In a statement, producers of the ITV2 show confirmed they would change policies to ensure that all Islanders are offered support before, during and after their time on the show

Changes: In a statement, producers of the ITV2 show confirmed they would change policies to ensure that all Islanders are offered support before, during and after their time on the show

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. We will be delivering bespoke training to all future Islanders to include social media and financial management. 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.
Love Island producers statement

‘They also meet with the press team the day after leaving the villa and are briefed and advised on their press coverage whilst in the villa. We have had requests for help from former Islanders, and have provided this.’

Bosses then confirmed that they would be making changes to their police to ensure that they were better equipped to handle their newfound fame, including training in social media and finances.

They also explained that it would be a compulsory for all former contestants to be contacted regularly to check in, whether it is asked for or not. 

It comes after many former stars, including Malin Anderson, hit out at producers for not offering enough support. 

Changing: The statement also outlined plans for all contestants to undergo social media and financial training, to cope with life after appearing on the show

Changing: The statement also outlined plans for all contestants to undergo social media and financial training, to cope with life after appearing on the show

Changing: The statement also outlined plans for all contestants to undergo social media and financial training, to cope with life after appearing on the show

In a series of tweets, season two star Malin, 26, admitted she was only sent flowers by the ITV2 team when her four-week-old daughter Consy passed away in January.

 When something so awful happens it is natural to enter a period of soul searching and ask whether anything could have been done
Love Island producers statement 

She said: ‘WAKE UP @LoveIsland !!!! I got flowers from the producers when my daughter died. No f**king phone call. No support, or help. Enough is enough.

‘Nothing when my mum died. Nothing when Sophie died. Change needs to happen.’ 

‘If I didn’t have a strong head on me that my mum passed down to me, I wouldn’t have been able to cope with this all. But not everyone is like this.’

Inadequate: It comes after many former stars, including Malin Anderson, hit out at producers for not offering enough support

Inadequate: It comes after many former stars, including Malin Anderson, hit out at producers for not offering enough support

Inadequate: It comes after many former stars, including Malin Anderson, hit out at producers for not offering enough support

Speaking out: In a series of tweets, season two 2016 star Malin, 26, admitted she was only sent flowers by the ITV2 team when her four-week-old daughter Consy passed away in January

Speaking out: In a series of tweets, season two 2016 star Malin, 26, admitted she was only sent flowers by the ITV2 team when her four-week-old daughter Consy passed away in January

Speaking out: In a series of tweets, season two 2016 star Malin, 26, admitted she was only sent flowers by the ITV2 team when her four-week-old daughter Consy passed away in January 

Dom Lever, who appeared in the Love Island villa alongside Mike, joined Malin’s call for change.

He said: ‘I’m shocked at the news!! me and @MikeThalassitis may not have seen eye to eye but he was a top guy.

‘You get a psychological evaluation before and after you go on the show but hands down once you are done on the show you don’t get any support unless you’re number one.’  

Joining forces: Dom Lever and his wife Jessica Shears, who both appeared in the Love Island villa alongside Mike, joined Malin's call for change

Joining forces: Dom Lever and his wife Jessica Shears, who both appeared in the Love Island villa alongside Mike, joined Malin's call for change

Joining forces: Dom Lever and his wife Jessica Shears, who both appeared in the Love Island villa alongside Mike, joined Malin’s call for change

His wife Jess Shears, who also starred on the show, added: ‘In complete shock, was lucky enough to get to know Mike, he was the loveliest guy. My heart breaks for his family.

‘Shows offer you ‘support’ but realistically it’s only while you are in their care. Minute you get home & are no longer making them money it’s out of sight out of mind. 

‘There should be ongoing support & also financial advice. Life after these shows isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.’

A spokesperson for Love Island said at the time: ‘All of our islanders are offered psychological support before, during and after their time in the villa. We take our duty of care very seriously and this is always our top priority.’

RIP: Metropolitan Police confirmed that Mike was found hanged in a park in Edmonton, North London on Saturday morning, with the star's manager confirming the news later that evening

RIP: Metropolitan Police confirmed that Mike was found hanged in a park in Edmonton, North London on Saturday morning, with the star's manager confirming the news later that evening

RIP: Metropolitan Police confirmed that Mike was found hanged in a park in Edmonton, North London on Saturday morning, with the star’s manager confirming the news later that evening

Sad: The former League One footballer enjoyed a successful playing career before appearing on season three of the revamped dating show Love Island in 2017

Sad: The former League One footballer enjoyed a successful playing career before appearing on season three of the revamped dating show Love Island in 2017

Sad: The former League One footballer enjoyed a successful playing career before appearing on season three of the revamped dating show Love Island in 2017

Metropolitan Police confirmed that Mike was found hanged in a park in Edmonton, North London on Saturday morning, with the star’s manager confirming the news later that evening. 

The former League One footballer enjoyed a successful playing career before appearing on season three of the revamped dating show Love Island in 2017.

Speaking to MailOnline on Monday, Mike’s grandmother Rose Leitlands said the star’s death is ‘like a nightmare’. 

Speaking at her home in Poole, Dorset, his 89-year-old nan, admitted: ‘I just can’t believe it.

‘There was no reason for it and I keep thinking I’m going to wake up. I have nothing else to say’.

Tragic: Sophie – who featured on Love Island in 2016 – was tragically found dead at her home in Ponteland in June last year, aged 32

Devastating: Sophie's boyfriend Aaron died 20 days later in his home in Blyth, Northumberland

Devastating: Sophie's boyfriend Aaron died 20 days later in his home in Blyth, Northumberland

Devastating: Sophie’s boyfriend Aaron died 20 days later in his home in Blyth, Northumberland

Sophie – who featured on Love Island in 2016 – was tragically found dead at her home in Ponteland in June last year, aged 32.

Mike’s death comes after the inquest into Sophie’s death was cancelled after her parents received a report. 

Her boyfriend, Aaron Armstrong, died 20 days later at his home in Blyth, Northumberland. 

The inquest, scheduled for next Thursday, was cancelled by Northumberland Coroner’s Court.

A statement said: ‘Please note that it has been necessary to cancel the hearing date.

‘Sophie’s parents have requested further time to consider a report which was only recently received.’

If you have been affected by this story, call The Samaritans at any time, from any phone for FREE. Call 116 123.

LOVE ISLAND STATEMENT IN FULL 

Everyone at Love Island is so shocked and absolutely devastated with the tragic news of Mike Thalassitis.

The Mike we knew was a remarkable and charismatic young man who made a huge impression both on the Love Island team and on viewers of the show. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with his family and friends at this difficult time.

When something so awful happens it is natural to enter a period of soul searching and ask whether anything could have been done to help avoid something so terrible happening. It is not for us to speculate on the reasons behind this tragedy and what is so heartbreaking is that we simply cannot know.

Our show put Mike in the spotlight with all the ups and downs that brings. Mike’s TV career took off with Love Island and he went on to take part in other reality shows as his career grew.

Since the terrible news there have been a lot of people questioning Love Island’s processes and aftercare. Many of the things that have been said about them bear no relation to the support we offer. We want to outline our care processes.

As the show has grown ever more popular and our Islanders get increased attention in an ever changing landscape, each series we evolve the support we give them.

Our duty of care is a continuous and ongoing process for each Islander. This follows three key stages; pre-filming, filming, and aftercare. We work with both an independent GP and a psychological consultant to provide an assessment of the physical and mental health of each of the shortlisted cast members and their suitability for inclusion on the programme.

The medical team also contacts each Islander’s GP to check they feel that person is able to take part. We ask for full disclosure from potential cast members to these health professionals so that so that we can support them appropriately. As TV producers, we rely on medical experts to assess both mental and physical health to ensure that each candidate is suitable for inclusion.

Care continues whilst the Islanders are in the villa. We have a medical team on location which includes a psychological consultant. They not only look after Islanders’ healthcare needs, but also monitor them to check that there are no emerging signs of any problems developing whilst they are in the villa. Additionally, several of our senior team, who monitor the cast around the clock, have been trained in mental health first aid.

When the time comes for each Islander to leave the show, our aftercare process kicks in. Every Islander has a series of debrief meetings on location with the executive team and the medical team, including the psychological consultant. After this, they are told how to access after care support as well as information on seeking professional representation. They also meet with the press team the day after leaving the villa and are briefed and advised on their press coverage whilst in the villa.

We have had requests for help from former Islanders, and have provided this.

We have always recognised that this should be an evolving process and six months ago we engaged Dr Paul Litchfield, an experienced physician and a Chief Medical Officer, to independently review our medical processes on Love Island. He has extensive experience of working with large companies and Government in the area of mental health.

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. And we will be delivering bespoke training to all future Islanders to include social media and financial management.

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.

Having said all of this about Love Island we must not lose sight of the wider issue which is the importance of the conversation on mental health. Across ITV we have worked with a number of charities including CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) on Project 84 and with Samaritans and CALM on Coronation Street, tackling the issue of male suicide. Conversations about mental health have never been more important.

Link hienalouca.com

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