**Warning: this article contains discussion of self-harm which some readers might find upsetting.**


Amy Mitchell (played by Ellie Dadd) will be involved in a self-harm storyline in the coming weeks on EastEnders.

The teenager has been struggling with mounting pressures both at school and at home which have in turn caused her to be isolated from family and friends.

Her struggles didn't stop there as she found herself clashing with her father, Jack Branning (Scott Maslen), over her relationship with Denzel (Jaden Ladega).

That is set to continue and as she gets lower, and it's revealed she's been self-harming.

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Over the course of the coming weeks, viewers will also see the impact of Amy's mental health on her loved ones.

It will also highlight the ways in which her friends and family come together and learn how to effectively support Amy.

EastEnders has worked closely with Alumina, Mind and Samaritans to portray this storyline as realistically and sensitively as possible.

Chris Clenshaw, executive producer of EastEnders, said of the storyline: "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 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."

Denzel (Jaden Ladega) and Amy Mitchell (Ellie Dadd) in EastEnders.
Denzel (Jaden Ladega) and Amy Mitchell (Ellie Dadd) in EastEnders. BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron

Jenny Cavendish, project co-manager at Alumina, commented: "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. 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, also said seeing mental health problems depicted on screen can help raise awareness of their signs and symptoms.

"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. We also hope it highlights safe ways for people to look after themselves if they are harming themselves to cope with difficult feelings."

And finally, Lorna Fraser, media advisory executive lead at Samaritans, said: "The utmost care needs to be taken around stories involving self-harm but sensitive portrayals, which depict a character overcoming difficult moments and show hopeful recovery, can provide encouragement for others to reach out for help.

"Young people, especially women around Amy Mitchell’s age, are most likely to consider self-harm, so we were pleased to help a hugely popular soap like EastEnders to maximise the positive impact of her story. Hopefully, Amy’s storyline will help start meaningful conversations around mental health and self-harm, which is a major public health concern."

For support and information on matters raised within this article, visit the BBC Action Line.

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