Opinion: Love Island needs to do more to protect the mental health of all participants 10 months ago

Opinion: Love Island needs to do more to protect the mental health of all participants

Faye's behaviour on Friday night's episode shows that Love Island has a long way to go.

Friday night's Love Island was one of the most controversial episodes to date.

Advertisement

In it, viewers watched on as Faye Winter shouted at Teddy Soares after it transpired that he found Clarisse "sexually attractive".

Faye's treatment of Teddy was extremely worrying for viewers, and many felt that the producers should have intervened before it got to that stage.

Over the weekend, there were calls to have Faye removed, and many online labelled her behaviour as abusive. Faye's family, meanwhile, had to limit comments on social media amid the backlash.

In a statement, they reminded fans that they are watching a "highly edited TV show", and that they can never see "the full picture".

Advertisement

They added that they would be "turning off comments, blocking and deleting" in order to protect their own well-being, and Faye's well-being for when she comes out.

Love Island bosses, meanwhile, have attempted to reassure fans that mental health support is on hand following the backlash to Friday night's episode.

In a statement issued to The Mirror, they said: "Welfare and duty of care towards our contributors is always our primary concern, and we take the emotional well-being of all the Islanders extremely seriously.

Advertisement

"We have dedicated welfare producers and psychological support on hand at all times who monitor and regularly speak to all of the Islanders in private and off camera, especially if someone appears to be upset.

"All the Islanders are therefore fully supported by the professionals on-site and by their friends in the villa. Islanders can always reach out and talk to someone if they feel the need."

While it's relieving to know that professional mental health support is on hand for the participants, Love Island needs to lead with mental health in all elements of production.

This means knowing where to draw the line, knowing when to intervene and having the foresight to prevent explosive fallouts that may be damaging to participants.

Advertisement

Too often, the challenges on Love Island lead to hurt feelings and pain, and the movie night challenge was hardly the first of its kind.

For instance, fans had previously hit out at the show for sending the women a misleading postcard. The picture showed Teddy kissing another girl during a game of dares, which in turn led Faye to believe he had been completely unfaithful to her.

As viewers, we understand that the show thrives on conflict. Having said that, the mental health of participants needs to remain a priority at all times. The islanders' welfare must inform every element of the show, and it's up to the producers to keep it that way. If this means rethinking challenges and intervening before it's too late, then so be it.

Love Island continues tonight at 9pm on Virgin Media One and on the Virgin Media Player.