Mental health charities praise EastEnders for ‘sensitive’ portrayal of self-harm storyline
EastEnders has been praised by mental health charities for its “sensitive” portrayal of self-harm in its latest storyline.
Soap bosses said they had been working with Alumina, Mind and Samaritans to accurately depict teenager Amy Mitchell’s mental health deteriorating.
In recent weeks, Amy – daughter of Roxy Mitchell (Rita Simons) and Jack Branning (Scott Maslen)- has been feeling isolated from her family and friends.
Amy, played by Ellie Dadd (pictured), has also been having issues with her father over her new relationship, which soon breaks down when a nasty rumour about the couple spreads around school.
Alex Bushill, head of media and PR at Mind, said “sensitive and accurate” portrayals of mental health problems are helpful for the audience to spot the signs in themselves and their loved ones.
He added: “We know there is a mental health crisis in young people, with one in six experiencing a mental health problem.
“I hope Amy’s story helps highlight that self-harming is all too real, it’s not attention seeking or something to be dismissed, and that every young person deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.”
Lorna Fraser, media advisory executive lead at Samaritans, said: “Hopefully Amy’s storyline will help start meaningful conversations around mental health and self-harm, which is a major public health concern.”
Jenny Cavendish, project co-manager at Alumina, said: “We believe seeking support is vital to living a life free from self-harm and hope others will benefit from seeing how sensitively this is handled by the family.
“At Alumina, we always recommend young people reach out to those around them to help them access the help they need.”
Chris Clenshaw, executive producer at EastEnders, said of the storyline: “It was really important for us to explore a storyline focused on Amy’s mental health challenges – the issues she faces impact so many young people and their families across the UK so we hope this will help to raise awareness and to start a conversation amongst viewers.”
Mind is available on 0300 123 3393, or at mind.org.uk.
Samaritans is on 116 123 or through email [email protected].
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