Hollyoaks' Stephanie Waring on Cindy's emotional mental health scenes

Susannah Alexander
·3-min read

From Digital Spy

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

Hollyoaks spoilers follow.

Hollyoaks actress Stephanie Waring has revealed further details about her character Cindy Cunningham's emotional scenes in next week's mental health-focused episode.

On Wednesday (April 7), the Channel 4 soap will premiere a special episode in which a small group of characters reflect on their most vulnerable moments and talk openly about their mental health, with Cindy set to open up to Mandy Richardson (Sarah Jayne Dunn) about her bipolar disorder.

The pair's relationship is currently strained after Mandy lied about her daughter Ella Richardson (Erin Palmer)'s involvement in drug dealer Jordan Price's death, keeping Cindy in the dark while choosing to confide in Cindy's partner – and Mandy's ex – Luke Morgan (Gary Lucy) instead.

Photo credit: Lime Pictures
Photo credit: Lime Pictures

Related: Hollyoaks airs exit for Trish's boyfriend Brad

But the barriers between the pair will break down in the special episode, with Stephanie telling Inside Soap that they will have an in-depth discussion about their mental health and their past struggles.

"(Cindy's) hurt Mandy kept a secret from her about Ella, but confided in Luke," Stephanie explained. "It's very emotional – Mandy opens up about her father's abuse, then Cindy confides in her about her bipolar."

The actress also spoke about how important it is for the soap to accurately portray life with bipolar.

"It's important to highlight that it's not something that will go away, but also that it can be managed," she said. "If medicated correctly, someone with bipolar can live a normal life."

Photo credit: Lime Pictures
Photo credit: Lime Pictures

Related: Hollyoaks' Cleo to suspect Toby killed Lisa

The episode will also focus on Luke and his son Ollie Morgan (Gabriel Clark), as Luke battles with his fears over his dementia diagnosis and revisits his past trauma as a teenage rape survivor, while Ollie struggles to overcome his drug addiction and his emotions over his own abuse by football coach Buster Smith.

Stephanie revealed that Cindy "will do anything" to take care of Luke, explaining that she truly cares for him and wants to do the right thing by him.

"Cindy hides her struggle well, but Luke is her number-one priority, and she will do anything to help him," she explained. "This is the one time in her life that she's being totally selfless!"

The mental health episode will also focus on Cleo McQueen (Nadine Mulkerrin) and her boyfriend Toby Faroe (Bobby Gordon), as Cleo comes face-to-face with her abuser Pete Buchanan (Kai Owen) once again after he is released from prison.

Hollyoaks 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 its mental health special episode 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.

For more on drug addiction and dependency, including information and support, please visit FRANK or Action on Addiction.

Digital Spy now has a newsletter – sign up to get it sent straight to your inbox.

Read more Hollyoaks spoilers on our dedicated homepage

Want up-to-the-minute soaps news, spoilers and gossip on your social feeds? Just hit 'Like' on our Digital Spy Soaps Facebook page and 'Follow' on our @soapscoop Twitter account.

You Might Also Like