Actor Ricky Champ takes on the latest storyline following his character Stuart’s ongoing treatment for breast cancer.
Annie Belasco, Head of the Charity PANDAS:
“PANDAS Foundation were delighted to hear that EastEnders intended to produce a storyline highlighting postnatal depression in men. We enjoyed advising the team around the postnatal depression aspect of Stuart’s journey which we feel will be relatable to many fathers struggling to bond with their baby.
“Postnatal depression in fathers is still a much undiscovered and stigmatised area, which is why it is so imperative that awareness is shared in no doubt that men who may be feeling unwell with symptoms of postnatal depression can seek the support that they need at an early interventional stage. A full recovery of any low level perinatal mental illness, with the right support is possible.”
EastEnders is set to air a father’s postnatal depression storyline as Stuart Highway struggles to bond with his newborn son, Roland.
Stuart was diagnosed with breast cancer last year and recently agreed to treatment for the sake of his son. However, in the coming weeks, viewers will see Stuart struggling to connect with Roland leading him to eventually question his love for the baby.
The programme has worked closely with PANDAS and Mind on the mental health storyline to ensure it is portrayed as realistically and as sensitively as possible.
Alex Bushill, Head of Media & PR at Mind:
“When people see mental health problems portrayed sensitively on screen, it raises awareness and encourages people to seek support for their mental health. So, it’s great to see EastEnders dedicating airtime to exploring such an important issue. I hope this story helps highlight how depression can impact new dads and encourage dads to seek help if they need it. Whatever you’re going through, you’re not alone. And you deserve respect and support.”
The PANDAS Foundation supports parents and carers who may be struggling with their mental health. They have many free services, including a helpline, text and email support services as well as online and in person groups. For more information, please head to https://pandasfoundation.org.uk/