AMY HART EXCLUSIVE: “Love Island have paid for therapy for as long as I need it”

As World Mental Health day approaches on 10 October Love Island’s Amy Hart opens up to Heat about her experiences...

amy hart mental health love island

by Arianna Chatzidakis |

Following her public heartbreak after splitting with Curtis Pritchard in the Love Island villa, many people questioned what ITV were doing to look after Amy Hart’s mental health.

But while she admits she left the show as a way of protecting herself from spiralling into a depression, in a candid chat with heat for part of our mental health campaign Where's Your Head At?, Amy also tells us just how much support and aftercare she’s had from the show who have promised all contestants a minimum of 18 months therapy (plus more if they need it).

And in the wake of the heart-wrenching Jesy Nelson documentary ‘Odd One Out’, she admits she’s been in tears from trolls herself and shares important tips on how to cope when you’re feeling anxious...

Watch Amy Hart open up about her mental health struggles:

What’s your experience with mental health issues?

I have had mental health issues in the past but I was reluctant to accept it. I didn’t admit that I had anxiety until a couple of years after I first started my job flying at British Airways.

What were your symptoms?

My previous anxiety issues manifested within food. I would order the biggest dinner you’ve ever seen and take one bite and start shaking, crying and saying I can’t eat this anymore. I felt like wasn’t in control of the rest of my life - I was convinced I was going to get sacked, so food was my control thing.

Did you lose a lot of weight?

I lost a stone in my first six months in BA and when Curtis finished with me I wasn’t hungry and wanted to control my [diet] again but ITV stepped in and made me eat as the psyche was watching me all the time.

How did being on love island affect your mental health?

It started way before being in the villa - I applied for love island in October so I had this goal of Love Island, everything in my life was centred around love island, the Instagram wanted the ultimate picture, borderline obsession I would say with getting on love island, because I thought it would solve all of my problems.

What was your lowest point in the villa?

After the breakup, there was a day where the day beds were full and the swings were full, and Curtis and Molly-Mae were sat by the pool and I didn’t know where to put myself. It was the loneliest I’ve ever felt in my life. There were 17 other people in the villa and I was so lonely and I just went upstairs and said I want to go home.

Scroll to discover the Love Island 2019 contestants' jobs before they went on the show:

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CREDIT: ITV

Amy Hart

Amy is the 26-year-old Islander from Sussex who has never had a boyfriend before.She worked as an air hostess and cabin crew manager for British Airways for eight years.On launch night, Amy announced on Instagram that she had left her old job to "start a new adventure."Amy has also taken part in beauty pageants and was crowned Miss United Kingdom in the Miss Beautiful International Pageant in 2017.

Did you feel like you were being looked after?

Definitely. The welfare girl came in every single lunchtime apart from one day a week to check how much water we were having, how much we’d eaten and how we were. And when it all went tits up for me and I was lying in bed crying at lunchtime, she would get into bed with me and just stroke my head and talk to me and now I speak to her on the phone twice a week to check how I am. I would see the psyche twice a day and we would go to a cabin just outside the villa, mics off, where I could say whatever I wanted, everything was confidential, and was a really nice away space.

What’s the aftercare like now?

ITV’s aftercare is very, very thorough, I still speak to [my welfare rep] all the time and she’s a friend now.

How often do you see a therapist?

We’ve been given 18 months of sessions as mandatory from ITV and then we can have more if we want them afterwards. I’m very unorganised and busy at the moment so I let my psyche sessions go and [my welfare rep] ended up phoning my manager and saying ‘we need to get a date in Amy’s diary when she’s free’ so they are really on it.

How do you cope with trolls?

It’s like someone pushing down on you all the time. I just try and block a lot of words on my comments so I don’t see them – [words like] fat and ugly. I was going to block ‘teeth’ as well as I got a lot of [stick] about my teeth.

How does trolling affect you?

There’s one particular [follower] and every single Instagram story that I’ve put on since leaving the villa she has replied to. Some of them are just like ‘sort your teeth out’ and some of them are ‘seriously Amy, you’ve got money now just sort your teeth out they look awful and you’re really ruining yourself - you could be such a big celebrity but your teeth are just awful’. I had my veneers done when I was 17 and I was fine with them before I went onto Love Island but now I’m thinking ‘well if I have my teeth done that’s one less thing they can troll me about’ but they will just find something else!

To get help on mental health issues and find out how you can support our campaign so that mental and physical health are given equal treatment in the workplace please go to www.wheresyourheadat.org.

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