EastEnders set to feature mental health and schizophrenia storyline, supported by charities

BBC One soap, EastEnders is set to air emotional scenes as character Isaac experiences schizophrenia and mental illness.

Credit: BBC Pictures

The character, who was recently diagnosed with schizophrenia on the show, is set to spiral after not taking his medication partnered with the loss of his brother.

Furthermore, the character will face resistance and stigma from friends and family relating to his schizophrenia diagnosis. 

CHARITY INPUT

Ahead of the scenes, the cast and writers for EastEnders have been working with mental health charity, Mind to accurately portray the experiences of someone living with schizophrenia.

Eastenders is preparing to air the scenes during Mental Health Awareness Week (10 to 16 May 2021) in a bid to raise awareness of mental health conditions.

Actor Stevie Basaula, who plays Isaac, commented: “This is close to my heart, to be telling Isaac’s story is a privilege.

“I hope it will start a dialogue for people to have conversations about mental health and that anyone living with the condition will feel seen.

“I hope that anyone engaging with Isaac’s story will gain a better understanding and can approach someone they know that may be struggling from a more positive place.”

AWARENESS

Related to psychosis, schizophrenia is a complicated mental health problem that is still widely stigmatised with not very much known about the condition.

In fact, one in every 100 people get diagnosed with schizophrenia at some point in their life. Symptoms of schizophrenia include disorganised thinking and speech, hallucinations such as hearing voices or seeing things others cannot, to delusions and not wanting to look after yourself.

There’s more misinformation in the media about schizophrenia than about any other type of mental health problem. Stories in the news and on TV shows are often sensationalised and misleading.

“There’s a multitude of layers to this storyline and Mind’s expertise has been crucial as we explore Isaac’s experience,” added EastEnders executive producer Jon Sen

“As his condition escalates, we’ll see how this affects him and his loved ones in the coming months and I’m looking forward to audiences following Isaac’s undoubtedly difficult yet eye-opening journey ahead with fantastic actors in Stevie, Suzette, Rudolph and Danielle at the helm.”

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