Love Island reviews aftercare policy following second suicide
The death of Mike Thalassitis, aka 'Muggy Mike', marks the second suicide of contestants from ITV2's popular reality show Love Island.
Love Island released a statement promising improvements to monitoring welfare of contestants following heavy criticism after another contestant was found dead.
Mike Thalassitis, 26, was found dead in a North London park where he committed suicide on Friday 15 March 2019. His death follows just days after the passing of his grandmother, who he lived with and cared for in the months leading up to her death. Thalassitis also lost a friend at Christmas and was allegedly struggling with depression.
Fellow contestants and celebrity friends took to social media to share their condolences after hearing the news, encouraging people to speak out if they are struggling with mental health.
His name wasn’t Muggy Mike. Please stop brandishing that. His name was Mike Thalassitis, and every inch of my heart goes out to his family & friends. A good guy, taken far, far to soon. ?
— Chris Hughes (@chrishughes_22) March 16, 2019
I can not stress this enough. Life is tough for everyone and if you are going through a down patch please please talk to someone. I know personally it’s hard to open up but it’s the best thing you can do.
— Mario Falcone (@Mario_Falcone) March 16, 2019
Sophie Gradon, 32, was a contestant on the second series of Love Island and died in June 2018 (although her parents are leading an inquiry into her death as they dispute suicide allegations). Her death led her boyfriend, overcome with grief, to take his own life in the weeks after she passed.
The changes to the Love Island aftercare regime include therapy offered 'to all contestants and not only those who reach out', training Islanders around 'social media and financial management', and 'proactively' checking in with contestants on a regular basis.
Fame has a different impact on different people, and it is not surprising that the intense conditions of the reality show can cause psychological distress. But it is not just the rich and famous who suffer—mental health illnesses do not discriminate.