Coronation Street’s Shayne Ward has spoken of his honour to be asked to tackle the incredibly important and meaningful male suicide storyline.
Viewers will see the actor as Aidan Connor for the last time next Monday, as he visits Eva, who has just given birth to their baby daughter, and then attends a family party, before returning home alone.
In Wednesday’s episode his devastated family will learn that he has taken his own life.
Shayne said, as the storyline was announced: “I am honoured to have been trusted with a storyline like this, it shows the confidence that Kate and the team had in me to be able to play it.
“When you get given a storyline like this it is a decision that is not taken lightly, I have played it with as much honesty and truth as I could.
“I am very proud of what I have done in my three years on the show and on this storyline in particular.
“Aidan is an ‘everyman’ figure, he is someone men can identify with, which is important in telling this story.
“We hope that anyone who recognises something of themselves in Aidan, will realise they can, and really should, talk about how they’re feeling.
“Talking could have helped Aidan to turn his life around. It could have brought him relief from what he was going through.
“This is what his loved ones would have wanted. Suicide is a very permanent response to what are usually temporary problems.
“We all know someone who has maybe felt like Aidan did, someone who found it hard to talk and we have all heard stories like Aidan’s when it was too late, when people looked back and wished they had spotted the signs, but it isn’t always possible.
“If we can encourage someone who is feeling low, who is having the sort of thoughts Aidan was having, to realise they need to talk, then we have achieved what we set out to with this story.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or suicidal ideation, contact the Samaritans for support and advice.