ITV has outlined stringent duty of care protocols for the upcoming series of Love Island after media watchdog Ofcom tightened safety rules for reality TV.
The hit dating show, which was cancelled last year due to the pandemic, will return to screens later this month for its seventh series.
But producers have now introduced a raft of measures to support participants before, during and after filming.
These include psychological support from a mental health professional, training on financial management and social media and a full aftercare package.
The overhaul comes after Ofcom last year brought in tougher rules requiring broadcasters to protect the mental health and wellbeing of participants on their shows.
The intervention came amid a rising number of complaints and followed the death of two former Love Island contestants and host Caroline Flack, as well as a former guest on the now-cancelled Jeremy Kyle show.
The new rules mean broadcasters must adopt a duty of care over people taking part on their shows.
“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,” said Dr Paul Litchfield, former chief medical officer at BT and an adviser to ITV.
“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.”
The stricter safety rules come as the advertising watchdog looks to clamp down on reality TV stars who break ad regulations with their sponsored social media posts.
The ASA today named and shamed four influencers, including Geordie Shore star Chloe Ferry and Towie’s Lucy Mecklenburgh for repeatedly flouting the rules.