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Monday, 8 August 2022

Audrey confesses suicide attempt

Coronation Street is to highlight the issues of mental health and the impact of loneliness in older people when Audrey confides in her friends that she tried to take her own life.

Viewers saw Audrey receiving treatment in hospital last month, telling a doctor that she had accidentally taken too many tablets and this week (August 10th) she continues to insist that was the case to her own GP.

But in emotional scenes to be transmitted on August 15th Audrey confides in Roy, Rita, Claudia and Ken that the overdose was in fact a suicide attempt.

The group of friends have gathered for a belated birthday lunch at a local hotel and are stunned when Audrey tells them that she tried to make an attempt on her life three weeks ago, but a neighbour posting a leaflet spotted her and called an ambulance.

As the pals try to come to terms with the shock revelation they ask her what led to the suicide attempt, confessing their guilt at not spotting the signs that their friend was struggling.

Audrey admits that she had kept her feelings hidden and has not even told her family about what happened. As the group discusses the problems that growing older can bring she explains that she misses her late husband Alfie and that she had been feeling useless and depressed, turning to drink after suffering with her eyesight deteriorating.

Audrey says: “I just seemed to spiral downwards. I'd toss and turn all night, then finally drop off just when I should be up and at 'em. Seizing the day. Huh! Spend the afternoons on the sauvignon blanc, wondering exactly what I'm good for?”

Sue Nicholls explains: “Audrey is very sorry for what she has done and certainly her first reaction was to keep it from her family. Family do, and will always, mean so much to her despite the sniping now and again.

“She also enjoys and is grateful for being independent and living happily in her own home although the one big regret that has contributed to this latest situation is a wish that dear Alfie was still alive and there with her so that they could have grown old and equally doddery together. Her family, busy with their own lives, see her down and upset moments as her not being able to cope with the real world and she feels they have started treating her a bit like a child and she started to feel depressed. She is mostly very healthy and together but her depression seemed to take over totally. 

“Once she was able to speak with her friends, and they then opened up about their struggles, she realised how much they had helped her immensely regarding her problems. Dr Gaddas prescribed her antidepressants but yet again her stubbornness kicks in and she doesn’t take them. Luckily talking to her long standing friends they persuade her to take the doctor’s advice and she thanks them sincerely for making life seem lighter in every way.

“Now that is the message that I want people to take away from this storyline, the importance of being able to talk to people you trust about how you feel. Sometimes the young generation might think that anyone over 70 isn’t capable of making decisions which in turn can make older people lose their sense of purpose and begin to feel quite useless. 

“I am lucky enough to work with people of every age. I have no idea how old many of them are nor do I need to know. I enjoy speaking with them and taking on board what they say about issues we discuss irrespective of what age we all are. So I’d like to say ‘Listen Audrey, I'm still learning about life at 79 and I truly hope to continue’.

“I do hope this storyline helps older people reach out and start talking about how they feel and for younger people to be aware of how much the older generation still has to offer.”

This storyline coincides with the latest campaign under ITV’s mental health initiative, Britain Get Talking. Britain Get Talking aims to encourage all of us to take action to proactively look after our mental health through connecting with others, with a current focus on anxiety among young people. Since Britain Get Talking began in 2019, it has prompted over 100 million new or more meaningful conversations among ITV audiences. 

Jacqui Morrissey, Assistant Director of Research and Influencing at Samaritans, said: “The reasons for suicide are complex and very rarely down to one issue, which Audrey’s story has really captured. Our listening volunteers hear lots of mentions of loneliness and isolation, which can affect anyone at any time.  

“As the last few years have been incredibly challenging, many Coronation Street  fans may have found themselves struggling at times, so it’s crucial that people remember support is available, and feel able to reach out if they are finding life difficult. 

“Talking about the problems you’re facing can make a massive difference, whether that’s with a close friend, family member or support line. Samaritans."

All original work on Coronation Street Blog is covered by a Creative Commons License

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