Emmerdale to air devastating new story for Paddy Dingle
This story discusses topics including suicidal thoughts.
Emmerdale spoilers follow.
Emmerdale will air a devastating new story for Paddy Dingle as he considers taking his own life.
Viewers have already seen Paddy struggling with loneliness following his marriage breakdown with Chas Dingle, having most recently given into passion for former partner Mandy in Wednesday's episode.
ITV has now confirmed an upcoming storyline in which Paddy's ongoing depression will involve him experiencing suicidal thoughts.
Emmerdale producer Laura Shaw and her team have collaborated with suicide prevention groups Samaritans and Andy’s Man Club on these episodes.
Related: Emmerdale star Lisa Riley discusses Paddy and Mandy reunion hopes
Paddy is currently still under the same roof with Chas in order to co-parent daughter Eve, though the situation will grow increasingly tense as his work also suffers at the vet office.
Even though Paddy has close friends like Marlon and Mandy he can confide in, viewers will see him unable to share the depths of his despair with his loved ones.
In Thursday's (February 9) instalment, Paddy will mysteriously leave the village while Chas and Eve are away on a day trip. Though he's later found staying at a local guest house, Paddy's struggles only intensify.
The storyline continues into March, when Paddy returns to the village intending to say his final goodbyes to his family and friends before he plans to take his own life.
Related: 9 huge Emmerdale spoilers for next week
Producer Laura Shaw has offered insight into Paddy's struggles: "As soon as we started discussing this story, we knew that it was vital for us to get it right and that we needed to open up the conversation about male depression and suicide.
"Paddy is usually very happy-go-lucky in life, always joking and having a laugh, but what we see is that recent events have really taken their toll. Despite him being popular and having lots of friends and family around him, Paddy starts to feel increasingly lonely, isolated and overwhelmed by his feelings, and this leads to him having some very dark thoughts.
"We've worked really closely with Samaritans and Andy's Man Club every step of the way through this story, and their incredible support and insight has helped us to shape Paddy's journey into a true reflection of what thousands of men sadly go through every year."
Neil Waine of advocacy group Andy’s Man Club, which is working with Emmerdale on the storyline, has expressed hopes that these episodes will contribute to "end[ing] the stigma surrounding men’s mental health and help men through the power of conversation".
"It's a huge honour and a great responsibility to be portraying this storyline," Emmerdale star Dominic Brunt added. "It's an inherent problem in today's society that most men don’t talk enough about their problems. We bottle them up, we don’t want to bother anyone, we become embarrassed, we feel we should be strong and not show weakness.
"If this story can shine a light on the issue or make even a small change to someone's outlook or viewpoint, then it will have been worth it. It's also a privilege to be working alongside The Samaritans and Andy's Man Club in highlighting this issue."
Paddy has been noticeably struggling since he discovered his estranged wife Chas was having an affair with the late Al Chapman and planning to run away with daughter Eve late last year.
Emmerdale airs on weeknights at 7.30pm on ITV1, and streams on ITVX.
Read more Emmerdale spoilers on our dedicated homepage
We encourage anyone who identifies with the topics raised in this article to reach out. Emmerdale has been working on Paddy's storyline with support from Samaritans and Andy's Man Club.
Further information about how to access support is available via the NHS, and organisations who can offer help include Samaritans on 116 123 or Mind on 0300 123 3393.
Readers in the US are encouraged to visit mentalhealth.gov or the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
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