Hollyoaks announces mental health episode as characters revisit past

Justin Harp
·3-min read

From Digital Spy

The following article contains discussion of sexual abuse that some readers may find upsetting.

Hollyoaks spoilers follow.

Luke Morgan, Mandy Richardson, Cindy Cunningham and Cleo McQueen will reflect on their pasts in a special mental health-themed Hollyoaks episode.

An episode premiering next week will feature these villagers confronting vulnerable moments from long ago in gripping and deeply emotional scenes.

Photo credit: Lime Pictures
Photo credit: Lime Pictures

As Luke (Gary Lucy) assesses the fear he has about his dementia, he also revisits the trauma he experienced as a teenage rape survivor.

Luke works through some emotions about enduring sexual abuse while encouraging his own son Ollie (Gabriel Clark) – who was himself abused by football coach Buster Smith (Nathan Sussex) – to go to rehab.

Viewers have seen Ollie struggling with drug addiction, even as he helped bring down County Lines boss Victor Brothers a few weeks ago.

Photo credit: Lime Pictures
Photo credit: Lime Pictures

Cindy (Stephanie Waring) and Mandy (Sarah Jayne Dunn) look back on difficult periods in their own lives during a heart-wrenching conversation.

Mandy is desperate to make her sister understand why she lied to protect Ella from arrest, giving Cindy the chance to open up like never before about her experience with bipolar disorder.

Cleo McQueen (Nadine Mulkerrin) is forced to examine her feelings about the sexual abuse she experienced from Pete Buchanan when she learns about his release from prison.

Her fears about Pete coming to Hollyoaks are well-founded when he begins watching her from the shadows, setting off a volatile series of events where Cleo's boyfriend Toby Faroe (Bobby Gordon) goes to extreme lengths to get rid of Pete.

Photo credit: Lime Pictures
Photo credit: Lime Pictures

Viewers will remember that Toby also suffered childhood trauma and abuse at the hands of the phony psychiatrist Dr Ley, who was arrested earlier this year for her many cases of abuse.

The Channel 4 soap is committed to depicting mental health topics on-screen and promoting discussion with its cast members on the Don't Filter Feelings podcast.

Hollyoaks will air this mental health special on Wednesday, April 7 at 6.30pm on Channel 4.

Rape Crisis England and Wales works towards the elimination of all forms of sexual violence and sexual misconduct. If you’ve been affected by the issues raised in this story, you can access more information on their website or by calling the National Rape Crisis Helpline on 0808 802 9999. Rape Crisis Scotland’s helpline number is 08088 01 03 02.

Readers in the US are encouraged to contact RAINN, or the National Sexual Assault Hotline on 800-656-4673.

We would encourage anyone who identifies with the topics raised in this article to reach out. Organisations who can offer support include Samaritans on 116 123 (www.samaritans.org) or Mind on 0300 123 3393 (www.mind.org.uk). Readers in the US are encouraged to visit mentalhealth.gov.

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