EastEnders to air devastating mental health battle for Amy Mitchell

Throughout the years, EastEnders has been praised for its ability to tackle the toughest storylines, including ones that focus on mental health. In the coming weeks, viewers will see Amy Mitchell (played by Ellie Dadd) hurting herself in her bedroom after splitting from her boyfriend Denzel Danes (Jaden Ladega). Amy’s mental health deteriorates fast after a rumour about her spreads through school, with Sam Mitchell (Kim Medcalf) walking in on her.

In recent weeks Amy has been struggling mentally, as she faced mounting pressures from school and friendships that have left her feeling isolated.

Things are set to get worse for the teen as she finds herself battling with her father over her new relationship, which soon breaks down when a nasty rumour about the couple spreads around the school.

Struggling to cope, Amy’s mental health continues to deteriorate and it soon transpires that Amy has been self-harming.

In scenes which were shot with the utmost respect for people who have been through similar things, Sam is shown helping the youngster to clean up and apply a plaster.

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As the storyline progresses, Amy’s mental health and the way she copes will have a lasting effect on her family and loved ones.

The storyline will highlight the way in which they come to terms with self-harm and learn how to support Amy in the way that she needs.

The BBC soap has been working alongside Alumina, Mind and Samaritans on the storyline that tackles the issue of self-harm in young teenagers.

EastEnders’ Executive Producer, Chris Clenshaw opened up about tackling the sensitive topic and said: “It was really important for us to explore a storyline focused on Amy’s mental health challenges – the issues she faces impact so many young people and their families across the UK so we hope this will help to raise awareness and to start a conversation amongst viewers.

“We wanted to ensure the story was portrayed with the utmost care, which is why working alongside charities such as Alumina, Mind and Samaritans was essential in ensuring it was depicted as sensitively and accurately as possible.”

Jenny Cavendish, Project Co-Manager at Alumina, said: “Storylines like Amy’s are so important as they can help communicate the emotions felt by the young person and their family when faced with self-harm.

“We value how sensitively this storyline has been portrayed, whilst also expressing the variety of feelings both Amy and those around her experience.

“As portrayed on EastEnders, we believe seeking support is vital to living a life free from self-harm and hope others will benefit from seeing how sensitively this is handled by the family.

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“At Alumina, we always recommend young people reach out to those around them to help them access the help they need.”

Alex Bushill, Head of Media and PR at Mind, said: “When people see mental health problems portrayed sensitively and accurately on screen, it can help to raise awareness and encourage audience members to spot the signs if they or loved ones are experiencing a mental health problem themselves.

“That’s why it is great to see EastEnders dedicating airtime to exploring such an important issue. We know there is a mental health crisis in young people with one in six experiencing a mental health problem.

“I hope Amy’s story helps highlight that self-harming is all too real, it’s not attention seeking, or something to be dismissed, and that every young person deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.” 

Amy has been in EastEnders since 2008 and she has been played by a number of actresses as the character has grown older.

She was played by actress Abbie Burke since 2014, with actress Ellie Dadd having recently taken over the role.

The star is on Instagram and she updated fans when she joined the cast, saying: “It all feels like a dream and I can’t thank everyone at EastEnders enough for giving me this opportunity.

“And a huge thank you to @dandbmanagement for helping me get this job.”

EastEnders airs weekdays from 7:30pm on BBC One.

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