Hollyoaks announces special Alfie mental health episode

Richard Linnell among cast featured in new video for Mental Health Awareness week

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Hollyoaks will air a special episode focusing on Alfie Nightingale’s mental health struggles on Monday 4 June in which the character is diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder.

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To mark this week’s Mental Health Awareness week, and as part of the show’s ongoing #DontFilterFeelings campaign highlighting mental health issues, cast and crew have contributed personal stories of their own experiences to a new video in an attempt to de-stigmatise the topic and raise awareness.

Richard Linnell, who plays troubled Alfie, is among the stars taking part, alongside Nicole Barber-Lane (Myra McQueen), Ross Adams (Scott Drinkwell), Bob Cryer (Glenn Donovan) and Lauren McQueen (Lily McQueen).

Alfie’s story follows a number of high-profile mental health-themed plots including Lily’s self-harm and Scott’s depression and suicide attempt, on which the soap has been advised by organisations such as Samaritans and Mind.

Alison Kerry from Mind said: “Hollyoaks have created an incredibly powerful film as part of their groundbreaking #DontFilterFeelings campaign and to mark Mental Health Awareness week. Many of us can feel like we need to wear a mask and pretend that we are going when we’re not.”

Jonny Benjamin, mental health campaigner behind the Channel 4 documentary Stranger on the Bridge, and who also had Alfie’s diagnosis, has advised on Alfie’s story which began with the struggling teen experiencing feelings of anxiety and paranoia, leading to him hearing a voice inside his head.

This week, Alfie’s manic behaviour increases, much to the concern of his family and friends who begin to suspect something is seriously wrong.

The single-strand episode devoted to the storyline airs on Monday 4 June at 6.30pm on Channel 4.

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