Big Brother is back, and no doubt there'll be no shortage of drama, but ITV have also announced what they're doing differently to try and protect the wellbeing of the contestants. As this week also saw Mental Health Awareness Day, let's chat about the changes.
Tell me more
After the awful news of three people involved in Love Island dying by suicide, ITV have since introduced a whole load of measures and aftercare procedures for everyone involved; from medical screenings by GPs and mental health professionals, to background checks and respect and inclusion training. ITV have also required that participant's social media accounts be deactivated for the duration of their appearance; upon recommendation from experts hired for the show.
It's encouraging to see that mental health is being taken a lot more seriously by ITV - arguably far too late - but better late than never. Protections like these are essential to prevent anything tragic from happening ever again. However, the issue is a lot bigger than just mental health support. It revolves around the culture of reality TV; the people we see on TV are still people, with thoughts, feelings and the same challenges in life as you and I. They deserve our respect, and understanding. Perhaps we need to remind ourselves to reconnect with the meaning of the genre itself. After all, it is called "reality."