Love Island to offer therapy and training to all contestants

The makers of Love Island say they will offer therapy to all contestants following the deaths of two former stars.

The body of 26-year-old Mike Thalassitis, who appeared in the 2017 series, was found in a north London park on Saturday after police were called to reports of a man found hanged, while Sophie Gradon, 32, who had taken part the year before, was found dead in June last year.

Since their deaths the clamour for TV reality shows to help participants to deal with psychological effects of taking part has grown, with the Health Secretary Matt Hancock saying they have a duty to care for contestants after they become famous.

Image: Mike Thalassitis' body was found on Saturday. Pic: ITV2

Love Island said it had undertaken a review six months ago to evaluate the after-care it was providing.

The show said it would now offer support to all contestants rather than just those who ask for it.

The care will focus on helping contestants with social media and financial management.

A statement from the show said: "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.

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"And we will be delivering bespoke training to all future Islanders to include social media and financial management."

It went on: "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."

After the news of the death of Mike Thalassitis broke, a fellow contestant, Dom Lever, tweeted: "You get a psychological evaluation before and after you go on the show but hands down once you are done on the show you don't get any support unless you're number one."

Former Miss Great Britain Sophie Gradon died at her family home in Medburn, Ponteland, in June 2018.

An inquest into her death was due to be held on Thursday but has been postponed at the request of her relatives who have asked for more time to read the coroner's report.

Northumbria Police said her death was not being treated as suspicious.

The tragedy for those who knew her was compounded by the suicide of her boyfriend just weeks after her body was found.

On Tuesday the coroner ruled that he had taken his own life after consuming alcohol and cocaine.

His mother told the inquest that Ms Gradon's death had left him "absolutely hysterical".

In the following weeks Mr Armstrong's mood became quiet and very upset, the inquest heard.

:: Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email [email protected] in the UK. In the US, call the Samaritans branch in your area or 1 (800) 273-TALK.

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