EastEnders‘ Dinah Wilson (Anjela Lauren Smith) chose to take her own life on Thursday 16th May after struggling to cope with the debilitating symptoms of MS. As the Taylor family unite in their grief, the soap has revealed it is working with a specialist childhood bereavement charity to explore the psychological impact on Dinah’s nine-year-old daughter Bailey Baker (Kara-Leah Fernandes), who has been her mother’s carer.
Speaking about the next chapter of the heartbreaking storyline continuing in emotional scenes on Friday 17th May, BBC Head of Continuing Drama, Kate Oates, said: “Over the past few weeks and into the summer, EastEnders has been featuring a range of different stories about mental health. Through characters like Sean Slater, Jean Slater and Bex Fowler we’ve sought to examine the spectrum of challenges that people face, either openly or in secret, every day.
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“With Dinah and Bailey’s story, we have been able to examine what happens when poor physical health takes its toll on mental health,” the soap boss told Metro.co.uk, “and we have also explored the topic of young carers and what happens when a child loses a parent.
“In Bailey’s case she has been her mother’s primary carer for the majority of her life and now not only must deal with losing her mum, but also understand Dinah made the decision to end her own life. The storyline will hopefully continue to raise awareness of an incredibly important issue.”
Winston’s Wish, a UK charity supporting children coping with bereavement, have praised the show for the direction the plot is taking. “Thousands of children and young people in this country are suffering at any one time after losing someone close through suicide,” said CEO Fergus Crowe.
“While public awareness of suicide is increasingly higher, awareness of the consequences for the children bereaved by suicide is not. We hope the storyline not only raises awareness of the devastating effect suicide can have on children, but most importantly signpost adults who may be supporting a bereaved child to the advice available through Winston’s Wish.”
Will Karen reveal she knew about Dinah’s plan?
Viewers have been aware of Dinah’s wish to end her life since she shared her plan with Karen Taylor (Lorraine Stanley) and asked her to help. Overwhelmed by the request, Karen refused to assist Dinah and thought she had persuaded her to change her mind about the suicide.
The mouthy matriarch has kept Dinah’s wishes to herself, but as the truth emerges in the aftermath of her death, how will the family react that Karen knew of her intentions?
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