Love Island announces new contestant welfare measures ahead of show's return this month
Contestants will be taught to handle social media negativity and receive "comprehensive" psychological support.
Love Island has announced new contestant welfare measures ahead of the show's return on 28 June.
Contestants on this year's Love Island are to be taught how to handle the "potential negativity" of social media as part of the ITV2 show's duty of care protocols, which will also include "comprehensive" psychological support.
The training will be part of a revised set of welfare measures published ahead of the show's upcoming seventh series and ITV said the measures will continue to "evolve in line with the increasing popularity of the show".
The report said that "the level of social media and media attention around the islanders" was also a factor in the development of the new protocols.
Prior to filming, contestants will also be given "detailed explanations, both verbally and in writing, of the implications, both positive and negative, of taking part in the series".
The impact of social media on the mental health of contestants has been scrutinised heavily in recent years, with contestants such as Mike Thalassitis and Sophie Gradon, and presenter Caroline Flack all tragically having died by suicide.
In 2018, ITV launched a review of Love Island's participant welfare processes, appointing eminent physician and a former UK Chief Medical Officer Dr Paul Litchfield to independently review mental health services for the programme.
Dr Paul Litchfield said of the new measures: “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.”
The 2021 islanders will be also be offered therapy sessions when they return home from their time in the villa as well as advice on financial matters and adjusting to life back home.
The contestants will also be provided with 14 months of "proactive contact" after the show, according to the new protocols.
A registered mental health professional will be engaged throughout the series, while an independent doctor and psychological consultant will also provide "thorough pre-filming psychological and medical assessments".
Full details of the welfare measures can be seen here.