When approaching issues-led stories, Coronation Street always collaborates with appropriate organisations to ensure sensitivity and accuracy.
The soap has worked closely with mental health charities Samaritans and CALM on Aidan Connor’s upcoming suicide.
Viewers will learn next Wednesday that the popular Weatherfield resident has taken his own life – and the soap will explore the devastating effects of his death on his family, and the community.
The Samaritans have spoken of the importance of such storylines, with Ruth Sutherland, CEO explaining: “We were pleased that Coronation Street invited us to work with them on Aidan’s storyline.
“Suicide is clearly a very sensitive topic and one that presents some distinct challenges for producers of soaps.
“This is why Samaritans publishes media guidance and works with programme makers.
“Soaps can play an incredibly powerful role in increasing people’s awareness and understanding of difficult issues.
“Viewers will see the devastating impact of suicide and the effect that it has on families – it’s never the case that others would be better off without you.
“By illustrating the dangers of staying silent when it feels like life’s challenges are overwhelming, we hope others who are struggling will be encouraged to reach out for support.
“And, if viewers are worried about someone else, we hope it will inspire them to be brave and open up a conversation.
“You won’t make things worse, but you could start that person on the road to recovery.”
Simon Gunning, CEO of CALM, said: “Coronation Street is doing vital work in highlighting such an important issue with this storyline.
“Suicide is the single biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK, where three in every four suicides are male.
“The reasons for this are many and complex, but at CALM we focus on the cultural and societal aspects, including the pressures men face and how societal expectations can limit help seeking when life gets tough.
“Working with Coronation Street has allowed us to engage a huge audience in the devastating effect of suicide, while providing a platform to highlight the help that is available for those in need of support.”
If you are struggling with depression or suicidal ideation, or a concerned about a loved one, contact the Samaritans or CALM for advice and support.