Former Love Island stars have urged the hit TV show to provide more support to contestants after the programme ends, following the death of one of its stars.
The body of Mike Thalassitis, 26, was discovered on Saturday near his home in Essex after police were called to reports of a man found hanged.
Officers are not treating his death as suspicious.
Ex-Love Island contestant Montana Brown, who appeared in the same series as Thalassitis, said he had been in a “dark place” in recent months.
In a tribute on Instagram, she said she wished she had done more and revealed he had turned to self-help books.
His death comes two months after his best friend Danny Cutts passed away, on Christmas Eve.
It has also been reported that his grandmother, whom he lived with in order to care for her, passed away just two days before his death.
In June last year, Sophie Gradon from the second series of the dating show died at 32.
Thalassitis’ appearance on series three in 2017 earned him the nickname “Muggy Mike” after partnering with fellow contestant Chris Hughes’s girlfriend, Olivia Attwood.
Reality TV star and semi-professional footballer Thalassitis split from The Only Way Is Essex star Megan McKenna late last year.
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
— Dom Lever (@_DomLever) March 16, 2019
Following his death, a spokesman for ITV, which produces Love Island, said: “Everyone at ITV2 and Love Island are shocked and saddened by this terrible news.
“Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with Mike’s family and friends at this very sad time.”
One of the show’s stars said after the programme ends, the contestants only get support if they are “number one”.
Dom Lever, who featured in the same series as Thalassitis, tweeted: “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.”
Shows offer you ‘support’ but realistically it’s only while you are in their care. Minute you get home & are no longer making them money it’s out of sight out of mind. There should be ongoing support & also finacial advice. Life after these shows isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
— Jessica (@Jessica_Rose_UK) March 16, 2019
Fellow Love Island contestant Jess Shears, who is married to Lever, tweeted: “Shows offer you ‘support’ but realistically it’s only while you are in their care. Minute you get home & are no longer making them money it’s out of sight out of mind.
“There should be ongoing support & also financial advice. Life after these shows isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.”
Kady McDermott from series two posted: “Hopefully going forward reality shows will help more with the aftermath of being on one, because I can say it definitely didn’t happen after my series when lots of us needed it.
“People’s lives change over night and no one can mentally be prepared for it. The good and the bad.”
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. PLEASE IF YOU FEEL ALONE, OR SAD, OR STUCK REACH OUT TO SOMEBODY!
— Malin Andersson (@MissMalinSara) March 16, 2019
Malin Andersson, also from series two, posted a series of tweets in which she was critical of the show.
She said: “WAKE UP @LoveIsland !!!!”
“I got flowers from the producers when my daughter died. No f***ing 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. PLEASE IF YOU FEEL ALONE, OR SAD, OR STUCK REACH OUT TO SOMEBODY!”
Meanwhile, Cleaning Up star Sheridan Smith, 37, said Thalassitis’s death should be a “massive wake up call”.
Writing on Twitter, the BAFTA award-winner asked fans to reach out to their friends, even those who might outwardly appear confident and happy.
“This should be a massive wake up call,” she said.
“I feel sick, reach out, sometimes to the most confident friend. We can only learn & try to change.”
:: Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email [email protected] in the UK.