Celebs Go Dating‘s Anna Williamson tells Love Island stars How Not To Lose It
Reality TV contestants must accept the mental health help that TV companies offer them, and TV shows should educate stars more about what happens when their 15 minutes of fame is over, according to Celebs Go Dating’s accredited counsellor and relationship coach, Anna Williamson.
In the interview below, Anna tells the editor of Celebrity Secrets, Claire Muffett-Reece, that anyone thinking of applying for next season’s Love Island should proceed with caution.
Claire: We recently talked to Love Islanders Megan Barton-Hanson and Dr Alex George about how reality TV has affected their mental health. What are your thoughts surrounding what needs to be done to better prepare people for reality TV?
Anna Williamson: “Anyone considering entering a reality TV show really does need to look at the whole picture of what the implications of this might be to their existing life. Production companies must take responsibility in the welfare of anyone taking part, but it is also up to the individual to be mindful about what they are applying for, and educating themselves on all aspects of it. They also need to be crucially honest about WHY they want to take part. Fame and fortune really isn’t a great reason, and anybody chasing these two things must proceed with extreme caution. For every upside there’s a downside, and appearing on such a public platform will always leave you wide open to scrutiny – it is the nature of the beast.”
Claire: “What more should the production companies behind reality TV shows do to care for participants’ mental wellbeing before, during and after they’ve been on the shows?”
Anna Williamson: “I have worked on many reality TV shows, both as talent, and as an expert, and my personal experience has always been extremely positive. The production teams take the upmost care and responsibility to provide support. Contestants need to take it seriously from the moment they apply and take up all offers of help and support. It is very hard for a production team to force such a thing on somebody, as they have to be willing and open, so it really does need to be a joint working relationship. Offering more education on the implications of instant fame, financial advice, ‘what happens when the 15 minutes is up’, and teaching resilience could help even more.”
Claire: “What tips and lessons about maintaining good mental health can you share with readers?”
Anna Williamson: “Know who you are. It sounds simple but so many of us are romping along at a breakneck speed we often don’t stand still and take stock of who we are and what our life is all about – or what we want and where we’re heading. We all evolve as time goes on, but it can often sneak up and surprise us if we don’t laydown good foundations, and fill our lives with things that make us feel happy, content and secure. Surround yourself with people who make you feel good, and adopt activities which make you feel content and happy. Set yourself goals so you constantly have something to work towards, as this helps to build self-esteem, confidence and stability.”
Anna’s new book, How Not To Lose It is available now at Amazon.
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