MANCHESTER AND SALFORD SAMARITANS Soaps can play powerful role
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.justgiving.com/ 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@ samaritans.org.
Also follow us on Twitter @Sams Manchester. ●