Love Island has confirmed that it will be implementing rigorous duty of care protocols in its upcoming 2021 series.
Ahead of the popular reality show's long-awaited return on June 28, ITV has revealed how it aims to support participating singletons before, during and after their stint in the Mallorca-based villa.
In a statement issued by the broadcaster, it said that all contributors will have access to comprehensive psychological support. Islanders, in particular, will undergo training on the impacts of social media and how to handle online trolls, as well as financial management and how to adjust to life back home.
Before the show kicks off, Islanders will be required to share "any medical history that would be relevant to their inclusion in the villa and the production's ability to provide a suitable environment for them".
They'll then be assessed by an independent doctor and a psychological consultant.
Once they leave the competition, be it through choice, elimination or – in two future contestants' cases – winning, they'll each receive a proactive package that "extends support" beyond their time on camera.
This will include at least eight therapy sessions and a 14-month contact period, where they'll be assisted in finding suitable management if that's something they feel like they want to pursue.
In the past, Love Island has come under scrutiny for the care afforded to its participants, following the deaths of former Islanders Mike Thalassitis and Sophie Gradon, and presenter Caroline Flack.
Last year, ITV enlisted Dr Matthew Gould, a Consultant Chartered Clinical Psychologist, to work alongside existing medical adviser Dr Paul Litchfield to independently review and continually evolve the duty of care measures the show has in place.
"Duty of care is not a static goal," Gould recently explained. "It evolves with public expectation, legislation, and with the commercial development of the programme format in order to maintain creativity. Effective delivery of care is an exercise in collaboration especially between health professionals, programme participants and producers.
"Also, it can be especially influenced by senior leaders within an organisation. My appointment last year in a new role to broaden the duty of care effort is testament to the seriousness which ITV gives this subject."
Love Island will return to ITV2 on Monday, June 28, and will be available via catch-up on ITV Hub.
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