2023 islanders to pause social media activity for duration of series
Islanders will also receive enhanced training around behaviour in relationships
ITV and Lifted Entertainment (part of ITV Studios) have confirmed duty of care protocols for Islanders featuring on the ninth series of Love Island, which launches on ITV2 and ITVX in the New Year.
A comprehensive package of welfare measures remain in place for programme contributors to ensure they are fully supported before, during and after the filming period.
As part of extended measures to protect both the Islanders and their families from the adverse effects of social media, participants will be asked to pause handles and accounts on their social media platforms for the duration of their time on the show. Islanders’ accounts will remain dormant while they are in the Villa, so that nothing is published on their behalf.
Additionally, ahead of entering the Villa, Islanders will also receive guidance and training around mutually respectful behaviour in relationships. Participants will be offered resource links to read up on, in advance of meeting their fellow Islanders, to help them identify negative behaviours in relationships and understand the behaviour patterns associated with controlling and coercive behaviour.
Contributors on the show continue to be offered video training and guidance covering inclusive language around disability, sexuality, race and ethnicity, and microaggressions. The inclusion training consists of conversations chaired by BCOMS (Black Collective of Media in Sport) founder Leon Mann MBE with DEI (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) consultant Hayley Bennett, disability specialist Shani Dhanda and broadcaster Sean Fletcher. First introduced ahead of Series 8 in 2022, these discussions will tackle topics including inclusive language, and behaviour, creating safe spaces and being a good ally.
Prior to appearing on the show, prospective Islanders will also watch a video fronted by the show’s Executive Producer and Head of Welfare, interviewing former Islanders about their experiences on the show. This includes details on the two week period before they enter the Villa, how to cope being filmed 24/7, the interaction they will have with producers in the Villa, the support provided to family members, dealing with social media trolling, and adapting to life away from the show.
Dr Paul Litchfield said:
“The Duty of Care arrangements for Love Island continue to evolve in the light of advances in scientific knowledge and awareness of the pressures young people face in establishing healthy relationships. That culture of continuous improvement ensures that Islanders are well placed to benefit from their experience of participating in one of the UK’s most popular TV shows.”
Dr Matthew Gould said:
“The enhanced safeguards introduced for Love Island 2023 demonstrate ITV’s commitment to evolve Duty of Care protocols to minimise harm, where possible. The bold decision to pause Islanders’ social media activity during the new series is testament to ITV’s serious intent, especially as this input provides both a benefit to the appeal of the programme and a potential source of mental health problems. Balancing this “tight-rope” requires both the identification of which safeguards have the greatest positive impact on participants’ wellbeing and the professional partnership, put in place by ITV, especially between producers and their welfare teams, and most importantly, the contributors themselves.”
Both Dr Paul Litchfield and Dr Matthew Gould continue to independently review and continually evolve the duty of care measures ITV has in place and to work alongside programme makers. Both Dr Litchfield and Dr Gould bring extensive experience in the area of mental health.
A full overview of the welfare service offered to Islanders includes:
- Comprehensive psychological support
- Training for all Islanders on the impacts of social media and handling potential negativity
- Training for all Islanders on financial management
- Detailed conversations with Islanders regarding the impact of participation on the show
- A proactive aftercare package which extends support to all Islanders following their participation on the show
- Guidance and advice on taking on management after the show
These protocols continue to be evaluated and reviewed ahead of each series, evolving in line with the popularity of the series and the increasing level of attention around the Islanders.
The full duty of care process is outlined below:
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 in confidence 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.
ITV’s support for Mental Health
In 2019 ITV selected mental health as the main focus for its on air health campaigns aimed at its viewers. ITV partnered with Mind and YoungMinds, alongside SAMH in Scotland, and Ant and Dec launched the Britain Get Talking campaign in Britain’s Got Talent, with the aim of encouraging 10m people to take action to support their mental or physical health by 2023. Since it launched, Britain Get Talking has resulted in over 100 million more meaningful conversations, and in 2022 ITV announced a further target of encouraging 200 million actions for better health by the end of 2023.
Alongside Britain Get Talking, ITV has a mental wellbeing initiative aimed at a younger demographic in partnership with mental health charity Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM). In 2022 it encouraged 1.8m young people to take action to feel better able to cope with life’s ups and downs through the campaign ‘What Gets You Through‘.
ITV’s Mental Health Advisory Group, chaired by Ruth Davidson with members including CEOs of mental health charities Mind, YoungMinds and SAMH, provides guidance and support on all aspects of ITV, and STV’s, approach to mental health and wellbeing among its people, production teams, participants in its shows and audiences. Dr Alex George, former Love Island star and UK Youth Mental Health Ambassador, also sits on the advisory group.
Notes to Editors
Matthew Gould Biography
Dr Matthew Gould is a Consultant Chartered Clinical Psychologist with international, public and private sector experience of assessing and managing psychological performance, risk and health in hazardous settings. Dr Gould has particular expertise in leading on psychological governance to ensure organisations meet their Duty of Care and regulatory obligations. Dr Gould is a registered Practitioner Psychologist (Clinical) with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), a Chartered member of the British Psychological Society (BPS) and a full member of the Division of Clinical Psychology.
Paul Litchfield Biography
Dr Paul Litchfield has been active in the field of workplace health and safety for over 40 years, holding senior executive positions in both the public and the private sector. He has been involved in numerous UK national, European and global initiatives to promote good physical and mental health, to improve rehabilitation back into work and to reduce the stigma of mental ill health.
From 2015 until 2021 he was Chair of the UK’s What Works Centre for Wellbeing, which is dedicated to understanding what can be done to improve wellbeing across society and he continues to hold advisory roles with the Health & Safety Executive, NHS England and several other bodies. Paul has undertaken a number of independent reviews for the UK Government over the past 10 years looking at health related benefits and employment support for people with a mental health condition. He writes and speaks regularly around the world on health and wellbeing in a workplace context.
In 2007 Paul was awarded the OBE for services to occupational health and in 2018 he was created a CBE for services to workplace wellbeing.