Love Island’s 2021 start date has been confirmed as June 28 with ITV outlining the new duty of care protocols to protect Islanders’ mental health on Wednesday.
The ITV2 dating show has enlisted another clinical psychologist ahead of the new series launch.
ITV released and listed the show’s new duty of care protocols in a statement on Wednesday, which will support Islanders before, during and after filming.
It’s back! Love Island’s 2021 start date has been confirmed as June 28 with ITV outlining the new duty of care protocols to protect Islanders’ mental health on Wednesday (host Laura Whitmore pictured)
It comes after Love Island previously addressed their duty of care after two islanders; Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis, and host Caroline Flack, tragically committed suicide within a period of 20 months.
The protocols are in line with the show’s last series but will also now feature another clinical psychologist, Dr Matthew Gould, who joined ITV last year and will work with Dr Litchfield, an external advisor to the business.
The two medical professionals will continue to independently review and evolve the duty of care measures ITV currently has in place.
The current and full duty of care process sees comprehensive psychological support, detailed conversations with Islanders regarding the impact of participation on the show and a proactive aftercare package which offers support.
Important: It comes after it was revealed that the ITV2 dating show has enlisted another clinical psychologist ahead of the new series launch (the 2019 line-up pictured)
Other measures in place include training for contestants with social media, handling potential negativity, financial management and taking on management.
The duty of care process will regularly be reviewed and evolve in line with the increasing popularity of the show.
Talking about the processes in place, Dr Matthew Gould said: ‘Duty of care is not a static goal. 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.’
Stringent measures: It comes after Love Island previously addressed their duty of care after two islanders; Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis (pictured), and host Caroline Flack, tragically committed suicide within a period of 20 months
Love Island duty of care protocols in full ahead of 2021 series
Pre-filming and filming
Registered mental health professional engaged throughout the whole series – from pre-filming to aftercare.
Thorough pre-filming psychological and medical assessments including assessments by an independent doctor, psychological consultant and reports from each Islander’s own GP to check medical history.
Potential Islanders are required to fully disclose 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.
Managing cast expectations: detailed explanations both verbally and in writing of the implications, both positive and negative, of taking part in the series are given to potential cast members throughout the casting process and reinforced within the contract so it is clear.
Cast are told they should consider all the potential implications of taking part in the show and work through this decision-making process in consultation with their family and those closest to them, to ensure they feel it is right for them.
Senior Team on the ground have received training in Mental Health First Aid.
A welfare team solely dedicated to the Islanders both during the show and after.
Bespoke training on dealing with social media and advice on finance and adjusting to life back home.
A minimum of eight therapy sessions will be offered to each Islander when they return home.
Proactive contact with Islanders for a period of 14 months after the series in which they have appeared has ended, with additional help provided where applicable.
We encourage Islanders to secure management to represent them after the show and manage them should they choose to take part in other TV shows, advertising campaigns or other public appearance opportunities.
While Dr Paul Litchfield added: ‘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.’
ITV’s guidelines and policies are fully compliant with Ofcom’s Broadcasting Code to protect the welfare of those participating in TV programmes, including those amendments which came into effect in April 2021.
After Mike’s death in 2019, producers announced key changes to Islanders’ duty of care and said all would be able to access therapy sessions, social media and financial training, and a minimum of 14 months of ‘proactive’ contact.
The ITV show addressed their duty of care after two islanders; Sophie and Mike and host Caroline tragically committed suicide within a period of 20 months.
Heartbreaking: Sophie, 32, took her own life back in June 2018 after appearing on season two of the show. Her heartbroken boyfriend, Aaron Armstrong, 25, took his own life 20 days later
Sophie, 32, took her own life back in June 2018 after appearing on season two of the show two years prior. Her heartbroken boyfriend Aaron Armstrong, 25, took his own life just 20 days later.
Mike rose to fame on the third season of the show. The 26-year-old footballer tragically lost his life to suicide a year after Sophie in March 2019.
And in February 2020, the host of Love Island, Caroline, was found dead at her home after taking her own life, a day after hearing the Crown Prosecution Service would go ahead with a trial for allegedly attacking her boyfriend Lewis Burton in 2019.
Following contestant Mike’s passing in 2019, ITV stated the team had ramped up the aftercare available to stars who appear on the show.
‘We are outlining today our welfare processes follow three key stages: pre-filming, filming and aftercare,’ creative Director ITV Studios Entertainment Richard Cowles said at the time.
Devastating: In February 2020, the host of Love Island, Caroline, was found dead at her home after taking her own life, a day after hearing the Crown Prosecution Service would go ahead with a trial for allegedly attacking her boyfriend Lewis Burton in 2019
‘We are increasing our post filming support to help Islanders following their time in villa.’
The network said each contestant now receives ‘bespoke training on dealing with social media and advice on finance and adjusting to life back home, a minimum of eight therapy sessions when they return home, and proactive contact with islanders for a period of 14 months up until the end of the next series,’ among other details.
ITV has previously been accused of ‘hypocrisy’ after The Jeremy Kyle Show was axed permanently following the death of guest Steven Dymond, 63, who was found dead a week after appearing on the programme.
Over the years, former Love Island contestants have spoke about their time on the show with Niall Aslam revealing last year that he had to leave the series in 2018 after nine days due to stress-induced psychosis and hallucinations.
In December, Niall, 25, confessed he was prescribed heavy medication after he lost touch of reality and began hallucinating.
The social media star also confirmed he suffered from severe depression when he exited hospital and needed to be monitored by a crisis team.
In a candid Instagram video, he said: ‘I came out and talked about my Asperger’s and I was diagnosed at 10-years-old, that was basically the reason I left Love Island.
‘But what actually happened to me, I ended up watching Love Island in a psychiatric hospital in London, the Nightingale Hospital to be exact.
‘What I later found out is that I had stress-induced psychosis… essentially what it is, you get so overwhelmed that you lose touch with reality.
‘You kind of hallucinate you don’t know what’s going on, you’re not fully aware of your surroundings, you’re not safe, you need other people to look after you.
Shock: Over the years, former Love Island contestants have spoke about their time on the show with Niall Aslam revealing last year that he had to leave the series in 2018 after nine days due to stress-induced psychosis and hallucinations (pictured in 2018 still)
‘It takes quite a lot of time to come down from that, but when you come down from it you really come down, you go into a really deep depression.
‘I was at the hospital for two weeks but in my head I wasn’t fully aware of what was going on, I thought it was because of my Asperger’s.’
When he was released from the hospital, Niall said he still struggled to comprehend what had happened as he was left to deal with the aftermath of his Love Island exit.
He added: ‘I was on so much medication getting loads of side-effects, that’s why I didn’t really do any interviews as I was getting really slurred speech from the medication.
‘Then I had to come off the medication, I was on Xanax, really really strong stuff. I just ‘cold turkey-ed’ it, that was horrible.
‘It was a really upside down time for me. I think it took quite a long time for me to recover fully from it because of the Love Island situation.
‘I was trying to get back to reality and my reality was different. I was really struggling… I was all over the place, I was depressed, I was avoiding things.’
According to the Coventry native, everyone assumed he was having an amazing time after the ITV show but he was constantly being checked on by a crisis team.
Asperger syndrome is a lifelong disability that affects how people communicate and interact with others.
It is a profile within the autism spectrum. There are around 700,000 autistic children and adults in the UK.
Just last month, Amy Hart said that her parents were warned about ‘harrowing’ scenes she had filmed during her stint on Love Island.
Difficult: Love Island’s Amy Hart (pictured on the show) said at a talk at the Cambridge Union in May that her parents were warned about ‘harrowing’ scenes in which she broke down over her romance ending with Curtis Pritchard
The flight attendant, 28, who quit the 2019 series after a heartbreaking split from Curtis Prichard, took part in a talk about mental health on the show at the Cambridge Union, alongside fellow villa alum Rosie Williams and Yewande Biala.
Welsh solicitor Rosie, 29, also claimed she once told show bosses to ‘get her off set’ because she was at ‘breaking point’ after filming one of the series’ challenges.
Amy explained: ‘They are in constant contact with your family as well so they would call my parents and say, “Okay so tonight’s episode, you are going to find it quite harrowing but I am in the gallery now, I’m looking at Amy, she’s with the girls and she is fine”.
‘And my mum kept saying to the producers, “She does know she can leave, doesn’t she? She does know she can leave whenever she wants?” and they’re like, “Yes, she knows she can leave”.
‘But I just thought, it’s hard for us to live it, it must be so hard for our parents to watch it.’
Struggle: Rosie Williams, meanwhile, explained that she told bosses to ‘get her off set’ when she was at ‘breaking point’ on the show
Amy then joked: ‘Turns out my mum and dad were hanging out with Phil and Holly so they weren’t actually that bothered.’
The blonde beauty suffered a tumultuous time during her stint on Love Island in 2019 and was unceremoniously dumped by ‘half boyfriend’ Curtis, 25, when he developed feelings for other women during the Casa Amor segment of the show.
Fans had raised concerns for Amy’s mental health at the time the show aired after she broke down in tears following the dancer’s betrayal in devastating scenes, with the dramatic recoupling sparking nearly 200 Ofcom complaints.
Amy announced she’d quit the show soon after, with a source telling The Sun at the time that she’d had her ‘heart broken’ and ‘couldn’t stand the thought of seeing Curtis crack on with other girls while under the same roof as her’.
Elsewhere during the mental health chat, Rosie recalled how she had to get off set quickly following a challenge where Adam Collard had to put make-up on her whilst blindfolded, which she said made her feel ‘completely humiliated’.
She told students at Cambridge University: ‘I could feel I was at breaking point, you know at that point, when you are doing the challenges you know you’re being filmed and I felt the whole world – well not the whole world – the whole nation is seeing me being completely humiliated by this guy.
‘All I can do is let him do it as we were in the middle of a challenge. I just remember saying: “You need to get me out of here and get me off the set”.’
Rosie added: ‘That was the day I went and spoke to somebody about what was going on. It takes you getting to breaking point to say “I need help, I need to speak to someone.”‘
The trio also spoke about how they have a therapist on set at all times, with Yewande saying once she admitted she was ‘not okay’ and went to see her it helped improve her mental health.
In 2019, following the key changes to Islanders’ duty of care, several former contestants praised the measures in place.
Praise: In 2019, following the key changes to Islanders’ duty of care, several former contestants praised the measures in place – Olivia Bowen told MailOnline at the time: ‘I was in constant contact with the producers for a very long time.’ (pictured recently)
Olivia Bowen told MailOnline at the time: ‘I was in constant contact with the producers for a very long time. I got offered psychological tests when I got out.
‘I got offered counselling when I got out. I got a list of agencies. Honestly, they really did look after me, and Alex. They always checked in with us, and I’m still good friends with them now. Love Island is there for you if you need them.’
While Laura Anderson said during a Build London interview in 2019: ‘My experience with it all was amazing. It’s not just aftercare, it’s before, during and after.
‘In there as well they are constantly monitoring you. Producers are always asking if you’re OK. I feel like probably all of our experiences were really good.’
It comes after it was reported that contestants for the 2021 series of Love Island are reportedly already in quarantine in Spain, as they prepare to make their grand debuts on the ITV show.
‘Amazing’: While Laura Anderson said during a Build London interview in 2019: ‘My experience with it all was amazing. It’s not just aftercare, it’s before, during and after.’
This year’s participants have already jetted abroad to the sun-soaked country, according to The Sun, ahead of the new series launch on June 28.
A source also confirmed that Love Island producers are currently deciding who will be part of the original cast and entering the villa first, as they predict ‘the best series yet’.
The insider told the publication: ‘Bosses are finalising who goes into the villa on the launch show right now.
‘The cast are already in Spain, quarantining ahead of the first episode.
‘Everyone’s really excited – it’s going to be the best series yet as they have some really interesting islanders lined up for the villa.’
Filming: It comes after it was reported that contestants for the 2021 series of Love Island are reportedly already in quarantine in Spain, as they prepare to make their grand debuts on the ITV show (pictured L-R 2019 stars Amber Gill, Arabella Chi and Lucie Rose Donlan)
Builders are reportedly on site at the Majorca villa, making final adjustments to the set before filming commences at the end of June.
MailOnline contacted Love Island for comment at the time.
On Monday it was reported that footballer Aaron Connolly’s glamorous ex-girlfriend is set to be on Love Island, with a source saying he’s ‘really annoyed’ about the move.
Lucinda Strafford, 21, is thought to have dated the Brighton & Hove Albion player for two years and recently grew close to him again following allegations he breached Covid-19 lockdown rules by inviting a woman to his house for sex in March.
It also came amid claims that the hit reality show is gearing up to feature its first disabled contestant in the upcoming 2021 series and is approaching influencers.
Heading to Majorca? On Monday it was reported that footballer Aaron Connolly’s ex-girlfriend Lucinda Strafford (pictured) is set to be on Love Island
Speaking with The Sun once more, a source claimed that former British Airways air steward Lucinda wants to have a stint in the villa to promote her fashion business.
A source said: ‘She wants fame and money – she’s always wanted to be a celebrity. She’s trying to become an influencer, she wants to do it for her business.
‘Aaron’s really upset and really annoyed about it. They were together for two years and then broke up.’
Detailing their strained romance, they added: ‘He was seeing other people and she was jealous, but over the past few months they’ve been seeing each other.’
They also added that Lucinda has already had a ‘lengthy psych evaluation’ ahead of her reported entry to the villa.
MailOnline has contacted a Love Island representative for further comment.
Unimpressed? Lucinda is thought to have dated the Brighton & Hove Albion player for two years and recently grew close to him again after an alleged split (pictured in November 2020)
In March, a source told the paper that Connolly had invited a girl to the house where he’s been staying and had sex with her.
His club later confirmed they were investigating the reports of a potential Covid lockdown rules breach- which was allegedly filmed.
A Brighton club spokesperson said at the time: ‘We are aware of the allegations made and take them extremely seriously.
‘The matter will be fully investigated internally and dealt with in the appropriate manner.
‘The club has repeatedly made clear to all players and staff the need to imply with the lockdown rules, and made clear to player the added need to comply with additional measures to keep them and their families safe.
‘At this stage we will be making no further comment.’
It comes amid reports that Love Island execs are hoping 2021 will be the first season where a disabled contestant goes into the villa.
The casting team are reportedly approaching potential Islanders, with para-athlete Milly Pickles, 26, being tipped as potentially appearing on the line-up.
The brunette beauty had to have her leg amputated after she was electrocuted.
A source told The Sun: ‘Casting are actively approaching for someone who visibly has a disability. It’s all part of the show trying to be as diverse as possible.’
It was recently reported that Love Island has had ‘more applications than ever’ with over 1,000 singletons already interviewed amid the show’s current selection process for the 2021 series.
ITV commissioner, Amanda Stavri, teased the upcoming series in a new interview and revealed that the team are all ‘very pleased’ with the potential line-up.
New Islander? The casting team are reportedly approaching potential stars, with para-athlete Milly Pickles, 26, being tipped as potentially appearing on the line-up
Speaking to RadioTimes, the Love Island boss said: ‘There’s been more applications than ever. They’ve whittled it down and we’re all very pleased.
‘We’ve got a big sort of pool at the moment and we need to sort of work out who to put in the opening line-up and who sort of to hold back, you know as a bombshell – we need the bombshells.’
Elsewhere during the interview, the ITV commissioner promised the 2021 line-up will be ‘diverse and inclusive’.
However, the ITV commissioner said that including gay Islanders is a ‘logistical difficulty’ due to the format of the dating show.
Love Island has previously been slammed by fans, and previous contestants, for lack of different ethnic backgrounds, body types and members of the LGBT community represented on the show.
Line-up: Elsewhere during a recent interview, Love Island’s boss promised that the 2021 line-up will be ‘diverse and inclusive’ (members from the 2018 line-up pictured)
The ITV commissioner added: ‘In terms of gay Islanders, I think the main challenge is regarding the format of Love Island. There’s a sort of logistical difficulty, because although Islanders don’t have to be 100 per cent straight, the format must sort of give [the] Islanders an equal choice when coupling up.’
Stavri pointed out that spin-off shows, such as The Cabins, has a lot more ‘sexual diversity’ as the format doesn’t have as much ‘restrictions’ as Love Island, adding: ‘So we’re very sort of mindful of that across our programming on ITV and dating series.’
In March, 2017 contestant Montana Brown called for greater diversity on Love Island and insisted it is ‘unhealthy for people to just see size 8s chomping around in their bikinis’.
The swimwear brand owner, 25, also stated: ‘I wanna see more people of colour’ while concluding that ‘with regards to racial diversity and body diversity, there’s always room for improvement’ on the programme.
Making history: The programme has featured bisexual contestants in the past, including Megan Barton-Hanson, Katie Salmon and the late Sophie Gradon (pictured together in 2016)
Speaking on What Day Is It? podcast, Montana was quizzed about how progressive Love Island is.
She admitted: ‘I feel like, as a mixed race person, you’re always in a minority, especially on a show like that. It’s not something that I necessarily thought of while I was in the show.
‘I’ve had quite a privileged upbringing. I grew up in quite a white area so I’ve always been in the minority anyway. So it’s something that I didn’t feel uncomfortable with.
‘But I definitely think with regards to racial diversity and body diversity there’s always room for improvement.’
In April, it was claimed that producers were reportedly accepting gay contestants for this year’s upcoming series.
Despite the claims, a representative for ITV told MailOnline: ‘Our only stipulation for applicants on Love Island is that they are over 18, single and looking for love.’
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Slammed: Love Island has previously been slammed by fans, and previous contestants – including Montana Brown, pictured, for lack of different ethnic backgrounds, body types and members of the LGBT community represented on the show