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Monday 19 February 2018

Corrie to finally address David Platt’s mental health issues

Guest blog post by Tiffany Bowman who is on Twitter: @TiffanyZBowman

Note: The following post contains discussion of mental health issues, including references to sexual assault, that some readers may find upsetting.

1 in 4 people will be diagnosed with a mental health disorder in their lifetime. On average, more women than men are identified. However, the rate of male suicide is significantly higher. In fact, suicide is the biggest cause of death for men under 35. 

Coronation Street boss Kate Oates has said that the show will be exploring David Platt's mental health in the aftermath of his upcoming storyline, due to air in March. She said in an interview: “What’s really key for me, in my first six months of the year, is male mental health. David’s story is initially about rape but it’s actually about male mental health. That’s what I’m really passionate about.”

I’m glad this is being addressed on a major show like Coronation Street. I also think they’ve chosen the right character for this storyline. There have been lots of references to David’s mental health in the past. However, it seems that David’s assault might be the trigger for him finally confronting his problems, at long last.

David has been involved in many dramatic storylines that have undoubtedly had an impact on his mental wellbeing. There’s an episode back in 2006, in which the Platts attend family counselling, and David reveals he wishes he was someone else. In the same year, he confides in Gail that he doesn’t know how to be happy. He also confessed to Kylie that he still has nightmares about Richard Hillman.

We’ve seen him attempt, or threaten to commit suicide on at least four occasions - he infamously drove his car into the canal on his sister’s wedding day, he contemplated throwing himself off a cliff after finding out about Kylie and Nick’s affair, Jason Grimshaw found him on the roof of the factory, fantasising about how he’d kill his family, and there was his more recent murder/suicide revenge plot against his wife’s killer, Clayton.

His behaviour borderlines on self-destructive. He made a passing remark the other day about drinking alcohol whilst taking medication for his epilepsy, and there was the time he bought a swing set for the kids and deliberately cut his hand open with one of the spare bolts. At the time, I thought this was going to lead into a self-harm storyline but it didn’t. 

I’m really interested to see how David’s character develops over the next six months, and how Coronation Street will present such an important topic. In the past, we’ve had male characters deal with depression, PTSD, and more recently, OCD, and I’m sure they’ll do a great job with this storyline too.

Guest blog post by Tiffany Bowman who is on Twitter: @TiffanyZBowman

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this post, the following organisations may be able to provide help and advice:

Survivors Manchester | | 0161 236 2182
MIND | | 0300 123 3393

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Anonymous said...

C in Canada:
Why does every story have to be issue driven?
More doom and gloom.

Anonymous said...

Good post!

I agree with Anon, there's too much doom and gloom in Corrie but I wouldn't say all the stories are issue driven. Phelan killing people off for the heck of it isn't really the same as David Platt dealing with male rape. And the whole Toyah/Eva baby scenario is just silly! I do wish they'd add a bit more comedy but I think this storyline might be okay compared to the other ones that are happening at the moment.....

maggie muggins said...

That's a list I had forgotten, about David's mentioning or acting out regarding his mental health issues. Good post, Flaming Nora. As someone who has lost a young male family member to suicide, this is an issue that can always use some cleansing sunlight shone on it, instead of keeping it in the dark as a shameful taboo. I think Corrie is the right soap to take this on.

I agree that as much as villains are a tradition in soaps. I question how successful they are in today's climate. Men who hurt women and murder anyone who gets in their way, get away with it, then go up in some sort of flame-out exit (even prison), are not as satisfying as they used to be for me. Especially when Phelan's background is never, ever examined. I don't need to see him normalized, and that just leaves him as too cardboard cut-out. To borrow from a real life movement, time's up on that.

I will still call out some of the nonsense happening on the show recently, as others often mention. Corrie doesn't have to be perfect, but repeated immature relationship storylines about older characters is beyond the pale now.

maggie muggins said... clarify, when I say older characters, I didn't mean Audrey's and Ken's group, but the revolving family members over 13 who never seem to grow up.

Anonymous said...

This wasn't written by Flaming Nora, it's a guest post Maggie Muggins.

maggie muggins said...

Thanks, Anonymous. And thanks to Tiffany for the blog post!


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