Tyler Cruickshank: ‘There’s a dark side to Love Island’

The 2021 finalist reveals why he's encouraging young people to talk about their mental health

love island tyler

by Hannah Mellin |

Love Island’s Tyler Cruickshank has opened up about his experience with mental health as he signs up to be an ambassador for the charity SOS Silence of Suicide.

A lot has been said about Love Island and mental health over the years, with the duty of care process becoming headline news following the tragic deaths of contestants Sophie Gradon, Mike Thalassitis and former host Caroline Flack.

In 2021, the show tightened the way it handles aftercare for the mental wellbeing of contestants, which included training for all Islanders on the impacts of social media and handling potential negativity and comprehensive psychological support both during and after the show.

After the show, contestants are given training on how to deal with social media, finances, and adjusting to life back home, as well as a minimum of eight therapy sessions for every contestant. The show producers also keep in active contact with Islanders for 14 months - up until the end of the next series - as a means of ensuring positive mental wellbeing.

Tyler, who came onto Love Island as a bombshell and reached the final with his now ex-girlfriend Kaz Kamwi, wants to keep the subject of mental health on everyone's lips - especially young people's.

Tyler Cruickshank love island
tyler in the villa ©ITV Pictures

Speaking on the Mental Health Monday Podcast, Tyler spoke about how the death of Mike in 2019 affected him, even though he never knew him.

"I remember my friend telling me and I was taken aback by it. He had everything going for him but you just don't know.

"People think Love Island is all glitz and glam but there is a darker side to it," the reality star admitted.

"Love Island's demographic is clearly younger people and when that's happening and younger people are seeing it, it's going to have an affect on there lives and it's something that is spoken about, so why is it not on the tip of everyone's tongue?"

Tyler also touched on the aftercare that he received from ITV, revealing that they were "incredible at looking after you" and that it was "second to none".

It wasn't just his time on Love Island that spurred him to work for a mental health charity. Before he entered the villa, Tyler lost a close friend to suicide and he experienced feelings of guilt.

"A couple of years back, last year, one of my close friends committed suicide himself through mental health problems and I felt like I could have done a little bit more to help him through that. It's quite difficult to put yourself in someone else's shoes.

"There's no manual for [dealing with it], we're not equipped, it's such a huge thing and it delves so deep into people's emotions and feelings - you're taken aback by it. It's a big taboo and it was difficult to know how to help him deal with that."

If you want to talk to someone about your mental health, visit SOS Silence Of Suicide or call 03001020505.

You can also contact Samaritans on 116 123, or you can email jo@samaritans.org__.

Find out more about our ‘Where’s Your Head At? campaign here.

In more Tyler related news, last year he almost broke the internet (and our hearts) when he shared a photo of his post villa body in the gym.

Tyler was already pretty fit in the villa but now it seems he has upped his training regime to become a Greek god and it appears that Kaz was there for moral support too.

Captioning the photo, he wrote, "I was just trying to show ya’ll the gains tbh".

Hundreds of his followers went wild for the photo with one person writing, "Love me some Tyler 😍".

Another commented, "Your real gain is the girl".

And Kaz proudly commented, "You’re doing amazing sweetie".

Tyler Cruickshank, Kaz Kamwi
Kaz and Tyler at Kisstory Festival ©getty

WATCH: Love Island's Priscilla Anyabu: "They’re going to think I’m too dark - no one will pick me"

Tyler and Kaz announced their split in December 2021, releasing a joint statement that read, "We are extremely sad to announce that we have decided to end our romantic relationship.

"We have had a fantastic journey and we will always have a special bond between us.

"We will continue to be very much in one another's lives and support each other in every way."

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