Channel Nine urged to hire psychologist for reality stars on Married At First Sight and Love Island

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Channel Nine has been urged to hire a psychologist for reality stars on shows like Married At First Sight and Love Island by a leading mental health expert. 

Psychologist Dr Kate Baecher, who has worked on The Bachelor and I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!, made the recommendation in a report to the broadcaster.

She also criticised Nine for not having a risk management system or register, which she said should be implemented in addition to hiring a resident psychologist.

Channel Nine has been urged to hire a psychologist for reality stars on Married At First Sight and Love Island... after Natasha Spencer (pictured) had a 'breakdown' earlier this year

Channel Nine has been urged to hire a psychologist for reality stars on Married At First Sight and Love Island… after Natasha Spencer (pictured) had a ‘breakdown’ earlier this year

Dr Baecher’s report recommended Nine only work with production companies who agree to high standards of mental health, according to The Daily Telegraph.

Married At First Sight is produced by Endemol Australia while Love Island is produced by ITV Studios Australia. 

Despite the harsh criticisms, Dr Baecher said Channel Nine overall has a ‘robust duty of care system’. 

Nine ‘has been proactive and forward thinking in its implementation of its duty of care responsibilities’ and ‘largely met the requirements of Workplace Health and Safety legislation’, according to Dr Baecher’s report.

Expert: Psychologist Dr Kate Baecher (pictured), who has worked on The Bachelor and I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!, recommended the broadcaster hire a psychologist and implement a risk management system or register

Expert: Psychologist Dr Kate Baecher (pictured), who has worked on The Bachelor and I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!, recommended the broadcaster hire a psychologist and implement a risk management system or register

The recommendations come after MAFS star Natasha Spencer, 26, had a ‘mental breakdown’ and was rushed to hospital in April. 

‘I had anxiety a week leading up to it [the finale]. I was at home and had a breakdown. I got taken under a section 22, a medical hold,’ Natasha told Daily Mail Australia at the time.   

A hold or involuntary hospitalisation often occurs when patients need urgent medical care, or so that doctors can determine their mental state. 

Natasha said the doctors ‘thought I was a danger to myself’ and evaluated her for two to three hours before discharging her.   

She has since been very vocal advocate about mental health and posted a photo of her ‘wedding’ to Mikey Pembroke on MAFS earlier this month.   

‘Little did I know that the next five weeks would spiral me into the worst mental state that I had ever experienced and the public backlash that would be awaiting me would continue my downward spiral for months,’ she captioned the post.   

The human impact: MAFS star Natasha Spencer, 26, had a 'mental breakdown' and was rushed to hospital in April. She is pictured with her MAFS 'husband' Mikey Pembroke

The human impact: MAFS star Natasha Spencer, 26, had a ‘mental breakdown’ and was rushed to hospital in April. She is pictured with her MAFS ‘husband’ Mikey Pembroke

At the time of Natasha’s breakdown, Channel Nine told Daily Mail Australia that they take the health and well-being of MAFS stars ‘extremely seriously.’

‘Nine and Endemol Shine takes its obligations in respect to the health and well-being of the participants of this program extremely seriously. All participants have access to the show psychologist during filming, during broadcast and once the program has ended,’ a spokesperson said.

‘Nine also have an additional service for participants should they like or need further individual and confidential psychological support.

‘This service gives participants access to psychologists who have been specifically engaged to support those involved in the program in relation to their experiences.’

‘This service is available to all participants for as long as they need it, it does not end.’ 

Her lowest point: Natasha described her time on MAFS as 'the worst mental state that I had ever experienced'

Her lowest point: Natasha described her time on MAFS as ‘the worst mental state that I had ever experienced’

The topic of the mental health of reality stars recently shot into the public consciousness after Love Island UK host Caroline Flack took her own life in February. 

Caroline, 40, was found dead in her North East London apartment with a coroner’s inquest concluding the cause of death was suicide in August. 

She is the fourth person linked to Love Island to have killed themselves. 

Tragic: The topic of the mental health of reality stars recently shot into the public consciousness after Love Island UK host Caroline Flack took her own life in February. She is pictured with her former boyfriend Lewis Burton

Tragic: The topic of the mental health of reality stars recently shot into the public consciousness after Love Island UK host Caroline Flack took her own life in February. She is pictured with her former boyfriend Lewis Burton 

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