EastEnders has been working closely with the charity Samaritans on a storyline which sees Mick Carter contemplate suicide.
Viewers have seen Mick becoming increasingly despondent over the last few months, with his panic attacks, emotional difficulties and mental health suffering as a result of his non-recent sexual abuse, having repressed what happened to him as a child.
But things have got worse for Mick since his abuser, Katy Lewis, arrived in Walford. Her manipulation and control over him is still prevalent.
Viewers have seen Katy distorting Mick’s memories. She has been convincing him that she was no more than a friend and care worker to him.
Struggling to come to terms with the truth, Mick alienated his family. He has been burying the memories of what happened to him as a child.
But now, realising the truth, the effects of his trauma have resurfaced, taking hold of his life in such a damaging way.
In the New Year’s Eve episode things spiral further for Mick. When he feels like he has no one else to turn to, Mick contemplates taking his own life.
EastEnders: Producer Jon Sen talks Mick Carter’s storyline
EastEnders boss Jon Sen and the soap team are working with Samaritans to create a story that will try to show to viewers that suicide is not inevitable.
“The storyline is such a vital one for EastEnders to portray” the producer said.
“We’ve worked closely with the NSPCC and Survivors UK since the inception of this story and as viewers watch Mick struggle to come to terms with the truth of what happened to him as a child, we were determined to show the brutal reality and effects that abuse can cause.
“Working with Samaritans has been invaluable to ensure Mick’s story is true to life and they’ve been a huge support, offering guidance throughout the process.
“Danny gives an incredible performance and we hope his portrayal of Mick’s trauma will help dispel the stigma that survivors are often burdened with.
Lorna Fraser, Samaritans’ Media Advice lead, said: “Suicide is not inevitable and just having someone there to listen, without judgement, can help save a life.
“We have been pleased to work with EastEnders, giving expert advice on Mick Carter’s story, as it’s a chance to explore some of the issues surrounding suicide in a sensitive and considered way.
“Responsible storylines can help start important conversations and encourage people to reach out for help.
“We would encourage any viewers who have been touched by this storyline to contact Samaritans. You don’t have to have reached crisis point to get in touch, sometimes it’s just a case of needing to talk concerns or worries through.
“Whatever it may be, our amazing volunteers are always here to listen, day and night.
“People can call us confidentially and free of charge on 116123, email firstname.lastname@example.org or find the details for your local branch at www.samaritans.org.”
For Christmas week EastEnders will air on Monday 21st at 8pm, Tuesday 22nd at 7.30 and Christmas Eve at 9pm.
Christmas Day will be a double episode at 9.10pm. There is also an extra episode on Boxing Day at 8.45pm on BBC1.
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