15 May 2019
The Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee has announced it will be conducting an inquiry into the level of care and support offered to participants.
The inquiry has been launched following the death of a man shortly after he took part in filming for the Jeremy Kyle Show, and two deaths of former contestants on Love Island.
Sarb Bajwa, chief executive of the BPS, said:
“We are pleased to hear that the DCMS select committee is taking the mental health implications for contestants on reality television shows seriously, and has decided to launch an inquiry following the recent tragic news about a participant on the Jeremy Kyle Show which has come quickly after other high profile cases.
Broadcasters and producers have a responsibility to the people appearing on their shows, and the BPS will shortly be launching guidance aimed at informing television commissioners and producers of the best psychological practices when working with members of the public, especially vulnerable persons. We would be happy to contribute our expertise to this inquiry to help ensure that all programmes are produced in an ethically sound manner.
There are many BPS members who work as psychologists on television shows of all kinds, offering important advice to production teams, psychologically informed aftercare to participants and, crucially, ensuring that potential contributors are screened for mental health issues. We would always recommend that producers enlist the help of an experienced and qualified psychologist to guide them through these vitally important areas.”