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.”