Former Love Island therapist says more needs to be done to protect contestants

Former Love Island therapist says more needs to be done to protect contestants

A former Love Island therapist has declared more needs to be done to protect contestants' mental health following the shock deaths of Mike Thalassitis and Sophie Gradon .

Psychologist Honey Langcaster-James believes producers need to provide more after-care and stop thrusting vulnerable people into the spotlight.

Langcaster-James worked on shows including Love Island, Big Brother and Tattoo Fixers, and now runs a company called On Set Welfare which provides psychological care for reality stars.

In an interview with Closer magazine, Langcaster-James insisted producers need to do more research into potential contestants' background to avoid putting fragile people into volatile situations.

She said: "I think we need to do more research into the type of people who want to go on reality shows and understand the differences between them and the general population.

"The type of person who is gregarious enough to want to develop a public platform may be someone who needs to seek out praise from others to boost their self-esteem…

"And may be more vulnerable to suffer more when they aren't approve of by others…

"There need to be guidelines and protocols set in place for all reality TV show contestants, so that their mental health isn't put at risk."

Her comments come after Love Island bosses vowed to do more to help their contestants after the cameras stop rolling.

In the aftermath of Mike's death earlier this month, they made a promise to ensure the show is given a major shake-up.

They said in a statement: "Six months ago we engaged Dr Paul Litchfield, an experienced physician and a Chief Medical Officer, to independently review our medical processes on Love Island. He has extensive experience of working with large companies and Government in the area of mental health.

"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. 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.

"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."

Mike, who took part in the 2017 series of Love Island, was found hanged in a North London park earlier this month aged just 26.

His death less than a year after the loss of 2016 contestant Sophie Gradon, who died in 2018 in a suspected suicide.

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RIP Mike Thalassitis

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