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Dr Alex George appointed one of ITV’s mental health advisors in the wake of reality show suicides

Dr Alex George has been appointed one of ITV’s mental health advisors in the wake of three suicides linked to its flagship show Love Island

The medic, 30, who starred on the ITV2 show’s fourth season in 2018 before returning to his doctor job at Lewisham hospital, will help the channel in promoting better wellbeing not only for contestants, but for those watching at home.  

His role comes after he was appointed as a Youth Mental Health Ambassador by Boris Johnson after speaking out following his brother Llŷr’s death last year. 

Congratulations: Dr Alex George has been appointed one of ITV’s mental health advisors in the wake of three suicides linked to its flagship show Love Island

In addition to appointing mental health tzars such as Alex, ITV have been making steps to help promote better mental health among its staff.

The station recently launched a series of self-care classes which include paint-pouring sessions, origami lessons and ‘racial fluency’ lessons.

While they have also set up a range of networking groups which welcomes women, minority ethnic staff, gay workers and  those with disabilities.

The moves comes after the broadcaster was heavily criticised for the quality of care provided to former Love Island contestants as well as guest who had appeared on The Jeremy Kyle Show. 

Brilliant: The medic, 30, who starred on the ITV2 show's fourth season in 2018 before returning to his doctor job at Lewisham hospital, will help the channel in promoting better wellbeing not only for contestants, but for those watching at home

Brilliant: The medic, 30, who starred on the ITV2 show’s fourth season in 2018 before returning to his doctor job at Lewisham hospital, will help the channel in promoting better wellbeing not only for contestants, but for those watching at home

Sophie Graydon and Mike Thalassitis both took their own lives after appearing on the reality dating programme, while host Caroline Flack took her life in February last year the day after hearing she would be prosecuted for allegedly attacking her boyfriend Lewis Burton, 27.

While Jeremy Kyle’s show was axed in May of last year after Steven Dymond, 63, killed himself less than a week after failing a lie detector test while filming an episode of the show. 

Speaking about his new position, Alex told Susannah Constantine on her podcast My Wardrobe Malfunction: ‘I actually sit on the board now the mental health board advisory board for ITV.

Tragic: His role comes after he was appointed as a Youth Mental Health Ambassador by Boris Johnson after speaking out following his brother Llŷr's death last year (pictured together)

Tragic: His role comes after he was appointed as a Youth Mental Health Ambassador by Boris Johnson after speaking out following his brother Llŷr’s death last year (pictured together)

‘A lot of the thoughts now moving forward are around how can we promote better mental wellbeing not just on the show but for people watching it.

‘What can we do to support movements around mental health like Britain Get Talking (ITV’s Mental Wellness Campaign) which has been incredibly successful, partnerships with Mind and Calm.’

He continued: ‘You know, I think that’s important: TV, reality TV, all these shows, can actually have an impact on people’s mental health, but it can do it in a positive way as well, if we think about it and we consider that when you’re making the shows.

‘It’s considering who you’re putting on there. Are they prepared for that? What messages are we giving to people? Are we representing the body image, the diversity that we have in the UK on screen, you know, those kind of things.

A great help: 'A lot of the thoughts now moving forward are around how can we promote better mental wellbeing not just on the show but for people watching it'

A great help: ‘A lot of the thoughts now moving forward are around how can we promote better mental wellbeing not just on the show but for people watching it’

Important: 'You know, I think that's important: TV, reality TV, all these shows, can actually have an impact on people's mental health, but it can do it in a positive way as well, if we think about it and we consider that when you're making the shows' (pictured on Love Island in 2018)

Important: ‘You know, I think that’s important: TV, reality TV, all these shows, can actually have an impact on people’s mental health, but it can do it in a positive way as well, if we think about it and we consider that when you’re making the shows’ (pictured on Love Island in 2018)

‘I will be interested to see what the cast is like this year on Love Island. But I suspect we might see a better diversity I hope in all sorts of ways on the show this year. But let’s see.’ 

During the podcast, the medic also discussed his experience following his foray into reality TV and praised ITV for checking in on him when he returned to his profession. 

He explained: ‘I think we all have different experiences don’t we?’ he said. ‘I think it helped me a lot that I had my career and it was always my intention to go back.

Aftercare: During the podcast, the medic also discussed his experience following his foray into reality TV and praised ITV for checking in on him when he returned to his profession

Aftercare: During the podcast, the medic also discussed his experience following his foray into reality TV and praised ITV for checking in on him when he returned to his profession

‘I guess the first six months was a huge roller coaster. I know, it sounds very clichéd saying that, but it was very strange to go from someone who has no experience in the public eye, no media experience at all, to being the centre of a lot of focus and attention.

‘That was a huge shock and a massive thing to get used to. But I got there, I think…I actually think that the show was pretty good to me as well – they check in quite a lot, see how I’m doing, even now. And I think that’s very important.’

Alex’s appointment comes three months after Boris Johnson made him Youth Mental Health Ambassador in the wake of him openly speaking about the tragic passing of his younger brother. 

Downing Street: It comes three months after Dr Alex was appointed as a Youth Mental Health Ambassador by Boris Johnson after speaking out following his brother's death last year

Downing Street: It comes three months after Dr Alex was appointed as a Youth Mental Health Ambassador by Boris Johnson after speaking out following his brother’s death last year

The Love Island star has been passionately campaigning for better mental health provision as he struggled with the loss of his brother Llŷr, who took his life at the age of 19 in July.  

The A&E doctor met with the Prime Minister in No. 10 Downing Street as he was appointed into the unpaid role.

His role as Youth Mental Health Ambassador will be to advise government, help shape policy on improving support for young people and raise the profile of mental health education and wellbeing in schools. 

Mental Health advocate: The A&E doctor met with the Prime Minister in No. 10 Downing Street as he was appointed into the unpaid role

Mental Health advocate: The A&E doctor met with the Prime Minister in No. 10 Downing Street as he was appointed into the unpaid role

Dr. Alex has been a passionate online campaigner for children’s mental health since he tragically lost his younger brother to suicide last year. 

Speaking about his brother on Susannah’s podcast, he added: ‘It’s an ongoing tough time. You never get over it, do you? How can you?

‘But you know, I’ve learned to live with it, in some ways. It’s still very early. But I do feel like I’m at a place now where I’m able to kind of see that, you know, I can have a life after this.’

On New Year’s Day, he wrote on his Instagram that his number one goal this year was to ‘help bring meaningful change to mental health education at schools across the UK’ and he has been calling for a meeting with the PM.

Success! Dr. Alex announced the news on his Instagram along with a picture of him meeting with the Prime Minister in Downing Street

Success! Dr. Alex announced the news on his Instagram along with a picture of him meeting with the Prime Minister in Downing Street

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was ‘delighted’ to appoint Dr. Alex as a Youth Mental Health Ambassador, saying: ‘Children and young people have heroically adapted to save lives and protect our NHS. 

‘This has understandably had a huge impact on their mental health, so I want to shine a spotlight on this vital issue ahead of their return to school. 

‘I’m delighted that Dr. Alex George will be working with us as we do everything in our power to improve people’s mental wellbeing.’

Dr. Alex said: ‘The last year has been unimaginably difficult for all of us, but particularly for young people who have sacrificed so much.

Busy man: Downing Street confirmed at the time that Dr. Alex would start his role immediately, and will work within the Department for Education, although he will remain independent of government

Busy man: Downing Street confirmed at the time that Dr. Alex would start his role immediately, and will work within the Department for Education, although he will remain independent of government

‘I am honoured to be appointed for this role where I’ll be working closely with government to make mental health an absolute priority and hope to have a positive impact on the lives of young people and their education for good.

‘Right now young people need a voice in government, and I hope that through this role I can advocate for meaningful change in this area.’ 

Downing Street confirmed at the time that Dr. Alex would start his role immediately, and will work within the Department for Education, although he will remain independent of government.

He will sit on the new Mental Health in Education Action Group, chaired by Children’s Minister Vicky Ford and Universities Minister Michelle Donelan – which will look specifically at how we support young people with their wellbeing as they return to school and university after this difficult year.

What a guy: Dr. Alex has been a passionate online campaigner for children's mental health since he tragically lost his younger brother to suicide last year

What a guy: Dr. Alex has been a passionate online campaigner for children’s mental health since he tragically lost his younger brother to suicide last year


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