Hollyoaks’ Lily Drinkwell is to self-harm for the first time in tomorrow’s E4 episode, beginning a long-running storyline on the issue.
Having sustained permanent scars from injuries following a car crash earlier this year, teenager Lily has struggled to cope or confide in anyone about her feelings of low self-esteem. After rejecting puzzled boyfriend Prince McQueen, her fella ends up in the arms of school rival Yasmine Maalik, sending Lily into a spiral of self doubt.
As the girls’ rivalry intensifies, spiteful Yas throws a box of Alfie Nightingale’s pet crickets down Lily’s top in front of everyone, causing Lil to tear off her and expose her scars in public for the first time.
The traumatic incident drives mortified Lily to run home and start to cut herself in secret.
When her Auntie Diane discovers a blood-stained towel, she confronts her niece, having also heard about Yasmine’s cruel prank. But Lil’s feelings of insecurity escalate and she finds herself unable to talk about her problems, and Hollyoaks bosses have revealed that this is only the start of the vulnerable teenager’s battle…
Lily’s cousin Scott was recently at the centre of his own mental health story where he attempted suicide, and both plots are part of the soap’s #DontFilterFeelings campaign, created in conjunction with Samaritans and MIND to raise awareness on mental health issues among young people.
Lauren McQueen, who plays Lily, says of the challenging scenes: “Lily has always been strong, fearless and independent who’s never cared about ‘imperfection’. But after the crash we see a side to her that is vulnerable and insecure.
“Lily has also been affected by losing her mum last year, and Scott trying to take his own life. She feels that self-harming will help but viewers will instantly see how much she regrets what she’s done.
“I’m grateful to have been given this storyline and hope I can bring awareness to people like Lily, and to let them know that they aren’t alone.”
Hollyoaks continues weeknights on E4 at 7pm and on Channel 4 at 6.30pm.