LOVE Island's Rykard Jenkins has slammed "selfish" stars who have said being on reality TV is difficult in the wake of the shocking death of Mike Thalassitis.
The 28-year-old, who was on the show in 2016, insisted suicide and mental health struggles affect all walks of life, tweeting: "It's hard for everyone."
"Please stop. Because it’s hard for everyone out here! Our industry is so selfish and don’t actually give a f* about anyone but ourselves."
Rykard was widely applauded for the statement, with one reply echoing many, saying: "Thank goodness someone said it! Suicides are horrendous for ALL."
Another wrote: "Exactly – what about ordinary people who take their lives everyday mental health like all illness knows no bounds celebrity status has nothing to do with it x."
Suicide statistics in Britain make grim reading, with the problem so widespread that someone takes their life every 90 minutes.
It is also the biggest killer of the under 35s – more than cancer and car crashes – with men a staggering three times more likely to kill themselves than women.
Later, Rykard tweeted: "The Big bosses at @ITV & @LoveIsland need to bring all there cast members into a room and have a proper talk as a group and see how we’re doing. That will help a lot."
He added that when you leave a reality show "the whole country has an impression of you" and said some "find hard to deal with".
Rykard branded Mike the "KING" in the hours after his death, adding: "I really hope you're at peace."
But he also spoke about male suicide more widely, writing: "Men naturally don’t vocalise their problems.
"We are conditioned to deal with our problems and not really seek help.
"Some men can’t get away & constantly suffer & this can lead to things as terrible as suicide."
YOU'RE NOT ALONE
EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide.
It doesn't discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.
It's the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes. And men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.
Yet, it's rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.
That is why The Sun launched the You're Not Alone campaign. To remind anyone facing a tough time, grappling with mental illness or feeling like there's nowhere left to turn, that there is hope.
To mark World Suicide Prevention Day, we told you the stories of brave survivors, relatives left behind, heroic Good Samaritans – and shared tips from mental health experts.
The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.
Let's all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others. You're Not Alone.
For a list of support services available, please see where to get help below.
Several Love Island contestants have made statements in the aftermath of Mike's death slamming the show for abandoning them.
Mike's co-star Dom Lever tweeted: "You get a psychological evaluation before and after you go on the show but hands down once you are done on the show you don't get any support unless you're number one."
That was echoed by 2016 star Kady McDermott, who added: "Hopefully going forward reality shows will help more with the aftermath of being on one, because I can say it definitely didn’t happen after my series when lots of us needed it."
Another 2016 Islander, Rachel Fenton, claimed she was offered nothing more than a "chat" with a mental health nurse before being flung into the spotlight.
Yesterday, The Sun launched a campaign called Let's Talk to help combat the tragic numbers of young people taking their own lives.
Backed by leading suicide prevention charity Papyrus, it urges people thinking about suicide to share their concerns with friends, loved ones and professionals before it is too late.
Supported by all three major political parties, it also urges everyone to talk to anyone they believe is acting suicidal.
Papyrus boss Ged Flynn, said: “We need to help children and young people know that all human beings struggle. We can’t protect them from pain, but by having open conversations, we can make sure they know they have choices.”
WHERE TO GET HELP
If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:
- CALM, www.thecalmzone.net, 0800 585 858
- Heads Together, www.headstogether.org.uk
- Mind, www.mind.org.uk, 0300 123 3393
- Papyrus, www.papyrus-uk.org, 0800 068 41 41
- Samaritans, www.samaritans.org, 116 123
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