Coronation Street star Shayne Ward has said the statistics of male suicide are “heartbreaking”, and told people affected by his storyline on the soap to get help.
His character Aidan Connor takes his own life in Monday’s instalment, following a secret battle with depression.
He wrote on Twitter: “Over the last few days I’ve watched my Twitter feed be inundated with all your personal connections to suicide.
“My heart continues to break reading what you’ve all been through. The statistics are heartbreaking — 12 men a day, 84 men a week, 336 men a month.”
Ward added: “If you feel like you are alone, you are not! If you feel lost, you are not! If you feel unloved, you are not! If you feel powerless, you are not!”
“Help is ALWAYS there. Talking about your feelings CAN and WILL save lives.
“I would like to thank Coronation Street and its amazing cast and crew/team for breaking the stigma and for using their platform to continue to raise awareness for male suicide. Talk — your voice will be heard!”
Ward has already recorded a video encouraging viewers to find helplines and advice on ITV’s website.
Catherine Tyldesley, who plays Connor’s ex-fiancee Eva Price, previously wrote on Instagram: “This week’s episodes of Corrie will be difficult for many to watch. Myself included. We are all in some way affected by suicide. I firmly believe that this storyline will help so many people, and even save lives.”
She wrote: “We hope Aidan’s story will encourage people to reach out and seek help, if they identify with Aidan’s experience.
“And also encourage others to speak to someone, if they’re worried they may be going through a tough time.
“These episodes are utterly compelling... heart breaking, informative and wonderfully written.
“I’m very proud to be part of a continuing drama that is brave enough to speak out and tackle such a subject...
“The following charities are here to help you. There is always hope: @calmzone @samaritanscharity @mindcharity.”
Prior to his death, Eva and Aidan reveal their love for each other.
Coronation Street is raising awareness of male suicide, described as a silent epidemic. Monday marks Ward’s final appearance on screen and an hour-long broadcast follows on Wednesday, showing the impact of his death on residents of Weatherfield. No scenes depicting the suicide will air.
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