Video Killed the Reality Star: The tragic death of Mike Thalassitus

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On Saturday afternoon we learnt the devastating news that 26 year old reality tv star, Mike Thalassitis was found dead in a park in Edmonton. It has since been confirmed that the cause of death was in fact suicide, this tragic news has shocked the nation. Mike was just 26 years old with a promising future ahead of him.

He rose to fame after leaving the Love Island villa and since then he has appeared on channel 4’s Celebs Go Dating and was due to open up a restaurant this year. It has been reported that Mike was mourning the loss of his best friend, Danny Cutts who died in December and was very recently devastated by the passing of his Grandmother, whom he was a full time carer for. Grief can have a monumental effect on a person’s mental health, people may experience feelings of anger, loneliness, anxiety and suicidal thoughts. Although someone may look as though they are coping on the outside, this could be far from the truth which is why it is so imperative to talk to those who are experiencing the effects of bereavement.

From the outside, one could assume Mike had a happy life, but social media is not a true reflection of a person's reality, and it is important to remember that mental illness does not discriminate, it can affect anybody at any time in their life.

Statistics show that suicide is the leading cause of death in males under 50, which trumps cancer and other deadly illnesses. We need to take a look at why this is the case? Phrases like ‘man up’ and other outdated stereotypes are constantly thrust upon males across the media and in day to day life. ‘Strong and silent’ and ‘show no weakness’ are amongst many of the unhelpful bravado stereotypes men face daily. We are seeing too many lives lost due to men suffering in silence. Talking and opening up does not reduce masculinity, it does not mean that you are not strong and it does not mean that you are weak.

Mike Thalassitis tragic and untimely death has shocked the masses. Tributes from fans, friends and colleagues have circulated the internet since the announcement of his death, with many people saying that more support needs to be given to Love Island stars once the leave the villa. Previous contestants of Love Island have been quick to criticise the show for leaving new stars to deal with their sudden rise of fame. Malin Andersson, former contestant wrote “Enough is enough” following Mike’s death. Malin lost her daughter this year and claims she was not given an ounce of support by the Love Island team, she said: "I got flowers from the producers when my daughter died. No support, or help.”

Mike’s death is not the first amongst the cast of Love Island, last year we also learnt the heartbreaking suicide of Sophie Gradon and her boyfriend Aaron Armstrong. We urge ITV to step in and start supporting these contestants before another tragic event strikes.

One thing we can take away from this heartbreaking news is that someone may seem perfectly fine on the outside but could be struggling on the inside. As a society we need to learn from this tragedy and do more to reach out to people in need. We need to share advice, break down mental health stigmas and raise awareness. In doing so many lives could be saved. We also want you to know that you are never alone. Here at WeAreASSIF we will do anything within our powers to help you, whether that’s just a chat, or if you need some advice, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

We'd like to take this opportunity to offer our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Mike. Our thoughts are with you all at this very sad time.

If you’ve been having suicidal thoughts, or you know somebody who is, these are the numbers to call to get some help.

Samaritans: 116 123

CALM: 0800 58 58 58

Papyrus (for those under 35): 0800 068 41 41

Childline (for children and young people under 19): 0800 1111

The Silver Line (for the elderly): 0800 4 70 80 90

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