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Dr Alex George on the importance of monitoring your mental health

The Love Island star speaks up about the importance of monitoring your mental health

By Claire Muffett-Reece

Love Island’s back on our screens and now more than ever the focus will be on how the contestants handle their fame when they exit the villa. What was your experience like?

‘I was assessed continuously before, during and after the show. For me the aftercare has been nothing but excellent.’

Do you think there should be more co-operation between shows on sharing the best practice to help the mental well-being of its stars? 

‘There should absolutely be a guideline developed of the best practice that all shows have to adhere to. I would also say that some training for producers from a mental health perspective would also make a big difference.’

What more do you think production companies behind reality TV shows could do to care for participants’ mental wellbeing?

‘The most important safety net is to provide access to support for when the participant needs to ask for help. I also believe that follow-up appointments should be offered to all, so that the space is given to open up if needed. Not everyone wants to step forward and ask – and it’s important we remember that.’

What about the problem contestants might face with trolls on their social media?

‘Any form of online bullying should be immediately reported. Tell someone – it is never ok. I also would say to put the phone down and take a break from that space. We sometimes feel compelled to go online, even if it makes us feel bad. This is not the case and at the end of the day if it is making you feel down or feel sad, get it out of your life. Always remember there are people who care, will listen and will support you.’

Do you like social media?

‘I do and I don’t – the same as most of us, I believe. It is a powerful tool whereby we can communicate with each other instantaneously, sharing incredible moments or messages and feel connected with one another. I do think more can be done in terms of its negative side. Freedom of speech should be protected, but bullies should not.’

What ways can we improve our mental health?

‘Self-care is so vital and you should never be complacent with your mental health. Life is about learning and adapting which is what I have done, and I now know to avoid certain situations when I feel anxious. Talk to someone about your concerns, be it a professional or a friend or relative. Also, don’t forget the importance of exercise! No matter how small it adds up and makes a difference. Rather than getting a cramped tube to work, could you cycle or walk instead? It’s exercise and mental space all in one!’

Listen to Dr Alex’s podcast, The Waiting Room, on Apple/Spotify/Acast

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