Mike Thalassitis death: ITV issues statement after Love Island contestants hit out at 'lack of aftercare'
18 March 2019, 08:57 | Updated: 18 March 2019, 12:17
ITV have hit back at claims they aren't doing enough to protect contestants following the show...
It's claimed the 26-year-old had been in a 'dark place' after struggling to cope following the death of his grandmother and his best friend last year.
Now representatives for the popular ITV2 dating show said they take the process "very seriously" and offer psychological support to contestants both before and after the show.
A statement issued to Heart Online said: "Care for our Islanders is a process the show takes very seriously and is a continuous process for all those taking part in the show.
"We ensure that all of our contributors are able to access psychological support before, during and after appearing on the show. The programme will always provide ongoing support when needed and where appropriate.
"We also discuss at length with all of our Islanders, before and after the show, how their lives might change and they have access to support and advice to help with this."
The statement comes after former Love Island contestants slammed producers for their lack of aftercare following the series.
Dom Lever and Alex Beattie joined the debate surrounding aftercare for contestants with statements on Twitter.
Dom revealed: "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."
In response, Alex wrote: "This is what angers me the most mate! I feel so lucky as a man to have had a strong support network around me and a passion for something before love island. Which I could return to but in a different way. If the show is to carry on NEEDS TO have regular check ups on contestants." (sic)
Malin Andersson, who lost her baby daughter Consy at four-weeks old after she was born seven weeks premature, pointed to her own personal struggles, adding: "WAKE UP @LoveIsland !!!! I got flowers from the producers when my daughter died. No f**king phone call. No support, or help. Enough is enough.
"Nothing when my mum died. Nothing when Sophie died. Change needs to happen.
"If I didn't have a strong head on me that my mum passed down to me, I wouldn't have been able to cope with this all. But not everyone is like this."
Earlier questions around the welfare of contestants had been raised following the tragic death of Sophie Gradon last year, with some fans even calling for the show to be cancelled.
One user wrote: "I think they should cancel love island now. Too much pressure and not enough support for these young people who are probably not prepared for the sudden fame etc."
Another added: "Love island is cancelled this year. F***ing concentrate on mental health instead of this bullshit show. First Sophie now Mike? Gift the right support or cancel the show!!!"
Another commented: "@LoveIsland you seriously need to wake up CANCEL THIS SHOW ITS KILLING AND SCREWING UP TOO MANY PEOPLE!!!!!! #CANCELLOVEISLAND."
Sophie Gradon appeared on Love Island in 2016, and her body was found dead in June 2018. An inquest into her death was set to take place next Thursday but was dramatically halted today.
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I’ve thought long and hard about what I want to say, I’ve woken up and unfortunately this wasn’t just a nightmare so this is to you Mr Thala. Firstly, I’m so angry at you for doing this because you are so loved by so many people and I just wish you picked up the phone so we could’ve sorted this out. This didn’t need to happen😭. Secondly, it annoys me that you were so misunderstood. “Muggy Mike” was your stage name and let’s face it, the ladies did fall at your feet BUT everyone had this impression of you and you were literally the opposite you were one of a kind. Mike, you were so thoughtful, caring and loyal to me and all your friends, you know some of my darkest secrets and I know yours. I could always rely on you to tell me when I’m being a nut job to Elliott and tell me to get off his case 😂 and I always told you to stop partying too much and getting too pissed😂🙈 I just wish people had a tiny glimpse of what the real you was like. You sent me a Christmas card in the post this year, you checked up on me everyday at the beginning of this year when I was struggling myself, you really were the kindest, sweetest person and I am so devastated and crushed that I’ll never get to see you again. Now I know you were in a dark place a few months back and I thought you were past it and that you were on the up. I got you to buy The Magic, you wrote down your gratitudes, you had the pictures of your family in your car to remind you to be grateful for them. I just don’t know how I didn’t notice... I am absolutely heart broken that I couldn’t help you. Your phone call a few days ago to tell me that I’m smashing the swimwear, you’re proud of me and that you’re grateful for my friendship is the only thing that’s keeping me going right now. At least you knew how much you meant to me. I will help open your cafe with Scott because you worked so hard on it so don’t you worry! I can’t imagine how much pain you must have been in to do this, and the fact that you went through this on your own breaks my heart. I’m so so sorry I couldn’t do more to help you. I have so much love for you Mike and I will never forget you. Sleep tight darling and I miss you so much already 💙
Both fans and fellow co-stars took to social media to send their condolences on Saturday after reports emerged Mike had had passed away.
The former League Two footballer enjoyed a successful career in the sport before starring on Love Island in the summer of 2017.
Fellow co-star Montana Brown, took to Instagram to reveal her grief and blamed herself for not doing more to help him through his 'dark times'.
She wrote: "Now I know you were in a dark place a few months back and I thought you were past it and that you were on the up.
"I just don't know how I didn't notice... I am absolutely heart broken that I couldn't help you."