Amy Hart has said she is committed to having therapy after leaving the Love Island villa.
The former flight attendant quit the show after Curtis Pritchard ended their romance and later got together with Maura Higgins.
She told Grazia magazine she cannot fault ITV for their improved after care, saying: “I’ve got 14 months of therapy guaranteed, but if I need it afterwards I can still have it.
“I can’t fault the support. People have had a lot of bad things to say about them and they might have upped the aftercare, but it’s the same team who’ve worked on the show for five years. I don’t agree with the criticism – they are amazing.”
The deaths of former Love Island contestants Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis have led to increased scrutiny on ITV over the reality show’s aftercare.
The broadcaster recently announced an enhanced duty of care process for participants on the show, including a minimum of eight therapy sessions.
Hart said all the contestants were briefed on the pressure of fame they would face when they leave the show, saying: “They told us, ‘You might be a star, but you might not’.
“‘Be aware you won’t be able to go back and work at Tesco afterwards because everyone will know who you are – your work life will change’. We were all very aware.”
She added that she has still had to battle trolls, blocking the words “fat” and “ugly” from appearing on her social media feed, but has no regrets about leaving.
She said: “When you’re thinking rationally you’d think this was all so stupid but it’s such a pressurised environment in there.
“[Before leaving] I just sat there and thought, ‘There are 17 other people in this villa but I am so lonely’. I went to the Beach Hut and just sobbed.”
However she said she has not been put off finding love again, saying: “Derry Girls’ Nicola [Coughlan] said that Richard Curtis, creator of Notting Hill, texted her saying, ‘I never believed in the saying it’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all, until I watched Amy leave Love Island’.
“The king of romantic comedy! I made him believe in love.”
The full interview is in Grazia, out now.