MANCH­ESTER AND SAL­FORD SAMAR­I­TANS Soaps can play pow­er­ful role

Glossop Advertiser - - News - Nas­rin Fazal, Manch­ester and Sal­ford Samar­i­tans

CORONA­TION Street has worked with Samar­i­tans to tackle the is­sue of male sui­cide in a sto­ry­line, which saw fac­tory boss Ai­dan Con­nor take his own life.

The pro­duc­ers at Corona­tion Street are to be commended for their brav­ery in tack­ling this chal­leng­ing topic in a very sen­si­tive way.

Soaps can play a pow­er­ful role in help­ing peo­ple have a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of dif­fi­cult is­sues, in­clud­ing sui­cide, so it was re­spon­si­ble of Corona­tion Street to ap­proach us for guid­ance on Ai­dan’s sto­ry­line.

Their pro­duc­ers were aware of the sen­si­tiv­i­ties at­tached to writ­ing a sui­cide sto­ry­line and were very keen to tackle this re­spon­si­bly.

The Corona­tion Street team has worked ex­tremely hard with us over sev­eral months to cre­ate this com­pelling story in a re­spon­si­ble way.

Ai­dan’s story shows the dev­as­ta­tion caused to fam­i­lies who are be­reaved by sui­cide and also deals with other dif­fi­cult is­sues sur­round­ing sui­cide.

Some­times there are signs a per­son is strug­gling to cope with life, but in some cases, there isn’t.

The sto­ry­line also shows the im­por­tance of talk­ing if things get too much, and how be­ing aware of these things means we can look out for each other.

Over the com­ing weeks, Corona­tion Street view­ers will see the dev­as­tat­ing im­pact of sui­cide and the ef­fect that it has on Ai­dan’s fam­ily and friends.

Sadly some peo­ple who be­come sui­ci­dal feel a bur­den to their fam­ily and can reach a point of be­liev­ing their loved ones would be bet­ter off if they were no longer here.

This is never the case.

Ai­dan’s story also il­lus­trates clearly the dangers of stay­ing silent when it feels like life’s chal­lenges are be­com­ing over­whelm­ing.

We hope view­ers who iden­tify with Ai­dan’s ex­pe­ri­ence will feel en­cour­aged to reach out for help – as the char­ac­ter David Platt will do in re­sponse to see­ing what hap­pens to Ai­dan.

Another im­por­tant is­sue high­lighted is those around him wish­ing they could have helped him, if only they’d known he was in such a dif­fi­cult place.

We hope if view­ers are wor­ried about some­one they know, Ai­dan’s story may en­cour­age them to start a con­ver­sa­tion.

This won’t make things worse, it could start that per­son on the road to re­cov­ery.

Peo­ple do call Samar­i­tans if they have been touched by some­thing they’ve seen on TV, or a story in the news, and for some this can be a life­line.

If you want to help Samar­i­tans lo­cally, think about do­nat­ing some money or some of your time to Samar­i­tans to help keep our life-sav­ing ser­vices go­ing.

Samar­i­tans’ free helpline num­ber is 116 123. Calls do not ap­pear on phone bills.

You can also con­tact us on 0161 236 8000 for emo­tional support.

We value all do­na­tions, no mat­ter how big or small.

Ev­ery lit­tle helps so visit www.just­giv­ samar­i­tans-manch­ester sal­ford or text Here24 and the amount you’d like to give us­ing the num­ber 70070 (for ex­am­ple Here24 £5).

To find out more about be­com­ing a vol­un­teer or a Friend of Samar­i­tans email manch­ester@ samar­i­

Also fol­low us on Twit­ter @Sams Manch­ester. ●

Nas­rin Fazal

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