Love Island Announces Aftercare Changes, Introducing Social Media And Financial Training

ITV will be taking a more proactive approach to ensuring Islanders are equipped for life after the villa.

ITV has announced changes to the support processes in place for Love Island contestants, revealing that this year’s batch of Islanders will receive extra aftercare.

Since Mike Thalassitis’ death at the weekend, there has been growing pressure on the channel to increase the services it offers contestants, who enter the show regular members of the public, but leave with hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers and tabloids following their every move.

PA Entertainment

In a statement issued late on Tuesday night, a spokesperson for the show explained that they engaged the support of Dr Paul Litchfield, an experienced physician, “to independently review our medical processes on Love Island” six months ago.

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,” they said. “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.”

In the wake of the sad news, numerous former Love Island stars called on ITV to be more proactive in supporting Islanders, criticising the channel for just giving them phone numbers to call for help, instead of being more proactive.

ITV’s new statement adds: “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.”

Their update also includes a lengthier tribute to Mike, following their shorter comment at the weekend.

Love Island has become so big that last year's finalists were greeted by hundreds of fans when they landed back in the UK
Love Island has become so big that last year's finalists were greeted by hundreds of fans when they landed back in the UK
David Mirzoeff - PA Images via Getty Images

The spokesperson said: “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.”

Plenty of Love Island stars paid tribute to Mike in the wake of his death, with Instagram and Twitter posts.

Some also made television appearances to discuss the impact of the show and their memories of Mike.

Montana Brown made a particularly emotional appearance on This Morning, as she broke down in tears over the fact she hadn’t responded to Mike’s last text to her.

Meanwhile Jonny Mitchell started a petition calling for better aftercare, which received over 66,000 signatures in two days, and Health Secretary Matt Hancock also got involved, admitting concerns over the welfare of contestants.

Useful websites and helplines:

  • Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393
  • Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123 (UK and ROI - this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill.)
  • The Mix is a free support service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email: help@themix.org.uk
  • Rethink Mental Illness offers practical help through its advice line which can be reached on 0300 5000 927 (open Monday to Friday 10am-4pm). More info can be found on www.rethink.org.
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