Chief Medical Officer supports Love Island’s improved duty of care for contestants

The new series starts in two weeks

The brand new series of Love Island will return to our screens in just two weeks.

Ahead of the series launch on Monday 3rd June, ITV has released a statement today detailing the show’s duty of care processes.

Over the past few months, the reality TV show has received criticism from former contestants, fans and even the Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who said they have a duty of care for islanders after they become famous following the deaths of Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis.

Love Island's Laura talks to Alexandra and Dani
The new series starts in two weeks (Credit: ITV)

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The show has now said they have made some changes ahead of the new series, including 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.

Creative Director ITV Studios Entertainment Richard Cowles said in a statement: “We’re very excited that Love Island is back for another series.

“It is the nation’s favourite dating show and we have a fabulous new cast of young singles all looking for love and ready for a summer of romance in the iconic Love Island villa.”

He continued: “The format of the new series will be familiar to Love Island viewers and we can’t wait to see how the new Islanders take to life in the villa and how relationships blossom.

Mike passed away earlier this year (Credit: ITV)

“We hope that viewers will be hooked as they watch these young singles fall in love – hopefully it will be a summer to remember for both the Islanders and our viewers.

“Due to the success of the show our Islanders can find themselves in the public eye following their appearance.  We really want to make sure they have given real consideration to this and what appearing on TV entails.

“Discussing all of this with us forms a big part of the casting process and, ultimately, their decision to take part.

“Also, as we are outlining today our welfare processes follow three key stages: pre-filming, filming and aftercare and we are increasing our post filming support to help Islanders following their time in villa.”

Sophie appeared on the show in 2016 (Credit: ITV)

The duty of care process pre-filming and filming for series five includes “psychological consultant engaged throughout the whole series”.

There will also be “thorough pre-filming psychological and medical assessments” and potential Islanders will be required to “fully disclose any relevant medical history that would be relevant to their inclusion in the villa”.

The show will also manage cast expectations by detailing explanations both verbally and in writing of the implications, both positive and negative, of taking part in the series to potential cast members throughout the casting process and reinforced within the contract so it is clear.

The Islanders have also been told to consider “all the potential implications” of taking part in the show and work through this decision-making process in consultation with their family.

There will also be a Senior Team on the ground, who have received training in Mental Health First Aid.

Meanwhile, for the show’s aftercare, Islanders will be given “bespoke training on dealing with social media” and advice on finance and adjusting to life back home.

Each contestant will also be offered a minimum of eight therapy sessions when they return home from the villa.

The show will provide “proactive contact” with the Islanders for a period of 14 months up until the end of the next series.

Eight months ago the Love Island team engaged eminent physician and a former Chief Medical Officer 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 and oversee our duty of care.

Love Island's Caroline Flack delivers dumping twist to villa
The show will provide “proactive contact” with the Islanders for a period of 14 months up until the end of the next series (Credit: ITV)

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Dr Litchfield CBE said today: “I have reviewed Love Island’s duty of care processes from end to end and they show a degree of diligence that demonstrates the seriousness with which this is taken by the production team.

“The processes and the support offered to Islanders have necessarily evolved as the show has developed and grown in popularity. The aim throughout has been to identify vulnerabilities at an early stage so that necessary adjustments can be made or potential Islanders can be advised that the show is not right for them.

“A high level of professional expertise has been engaged to provide comprehensive support not only while young people are actively engaged with the show but also for an extended period when they are adjusting to life thereafter.

“Professional input is a key element in safeguarding the wellbeing of Islanders but the genuine caring attitudes I have observed from those who make the show are as important.”

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