The following post talks about mental health and suicide.
Hollyoaks has been exploring mid-life depression amongst males with two of its best-loved characters, Darren and Kyle, one of whom will lose his battle with the illness.
Tonight’s visit to Hollyoaks (1st June) saw Darren, under advise from Mandy, turn his back on Kyle for the sake of his own mental health wellbeing.
Kyle Kelly, played by Adam Rickitt, will tragically take his own life in the lead up to his wedding to Nancy. Hollyoaks will not play out Kyle’s death on screen, but the aftermath of his loss will be explored as Kyle’s friends and family come to terms with the news and the effect the bereavement has on their children and Nancy.
Suicide prevention campaigner Angela Samata said: “A rise in the number of suicides during and after this time of global crisis is not inevitable – if people reach out and are given the help they need.”
Hollyoaks actor, Adam Rickitt said “When I first heard about the storyline, I was excited as an actor to be able to portray such a dramatic journey, and pride that the team had entrusted me to do it. There was also a sense of personal fear. Like all too many I had to walk a similar path in my lifetime and the idea of revisiting that, even in the world of fiction, was slightly daunting.
The Hollyoaks cast and producers visited and worked closely with James’ Place, a unique centre for emergency male mental health, based in Liverpool, to guide the process for this vital storyline.
Hollyoaks also planned to film a help and support video at the centre, which had to be postponed due to current circumstances. The centre continues to operate and provide support online, via their website – https://www.jamesplace.org.uk
Executive producer Bryan Kirkwood says “Hollyoaks’ writing team have been laying the building blocks of Darren and Kyle’s individual stories for some time, carefully exploring the nuances that comes from two men living with depression in two very different ways. There is no face to male suicide, and we wanted to highlight the ways in which depression can manifest itself with two of our much-loved characters.
Hollyoaks continues Monday and Tuesday on Channel 4 and Hollyoaks Favourites airs Wednesday – Friday on E4.