Ex-Reality contestants raise concerns over psychological help

More scrutiny today about the after-show care for Reality TV contestants, as issues of mental health surround the genre in Australia and overseas.

Bauer Media’s Now to Love has spoken to a number of ex-show talent who shared mixed feelings about psychologists provided by TV productions.

One unnamed Bachelor franchise cast member said of the network-approved psychologist, “Contestants know they are working for Production; their role is more about protecting the show and monitoring contestants than actually supporting or helping them.

“It’s why most who need the support post-production have spoken up about not receiving any as it was promised.”

10 said support was available to every contestant.

“As part of the show’s duty of care, all Bachelor In Paradise cast have full access to mental health professionals as well as support from Warner Bros. Australia and Network 10 teams,” a spokesperson said.

2018 Married at First Sight participant Sarah Roza claimed support was not provided after production.

Roza said she and her co-stars shared one psychologist with regular check-ins, but it was only on offer during the show’s run itself – not afterwards when she really needed it.

“I spent a small fortune myself on getting professional help but I did it because I knew it was the prudent thing to do and sorely needed,” she said.

Season Two participant Jono Pitman however disagreed, saying, “I used to talk to [a psychologist provided by the network] fortnightly, six months after the show had aired as I was in an extremely dark hole for a while because of my experience.

“They also give you the option to source your own psychologist or you could use the one they recommend,” he added.

“I used the one they recommended and he was fantastic. I also reached out to him six months ago because I was having my own personal battles – which I paid for myself – and once again he was amazing.”

A Nine spokesperson confirmed,”There is a dedicated show psychologist and support team available to every participant throughout the entire production, broadcast and beyond.”

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  1. There is a duty of care with producers but also has to be one with society too and support should be available for anyone who needs it at the time they need it.

  2. I am profoundly confused by this. Contestants freely offer themselves to star in these perverse reality shows. Those same contestants then complain loudly they feel hard done by and seek further fame and fortune – by usually running to New Idea – informing all and sundry about the lack of support during or after the series ends. I offer no sympathy to those running faster than Usain Bolt to sign on the dotted line.

    • I disagree. Complaining about manipulative editing is one thing, but at its worst TV can use extreme tactics to bring contestants to breaking point before the cameras even roll. The general public is not usually privy to this kind of manipulation. With 3 deaths in the UK I don’t think anybody there is saying “They signed up for it” but “What’s going on with how we make TV?”

  3. Well I don’t know if it is just me or what but first thing that comes to my mind is why are reality TV shows being allowed to air a show that need psychologists for their contestants in the first place? Put people in a situation that is going to screw around with their heads? Ummmm I don’t think so !

  4. Let’s keep this spotlight going until some firm and fast rules are put in place for better duty of care for contestants both when off on and off screen. Plus better management on social websites ran by networks and production houses that keep bullying behaviour and damaging personal comments out of the mix.

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