Coronation Street To Tackle Suicide Ideations In Ongoing Bullying Storyline
Coronation Street’s Liam Connor will be seen contemplating killing himself when his mental health hits rock bottom after suffering months of bullying by ringleader Mason Radcliffe.
Over the past few months, viewers have been shocked to see Liam being targeted by Mason and his crew, one being Dylan Wilson.
The torment began with Mason pressuring Liam to vape, leading to Liam suffering an asthma attack. The bullying then got progressively worse as Mason has been humiliating Liam to the point of tears, ordering his friends to record it and then posting it online for the world to see. When Liam eventually stood up for himself, Mason pulled out a knife, showing just how dangerous he is.
With the bullying happening in person and online, it has made it impossible for Liam to escape, leaving his mental health to rapidly deteriorate.
In the hour-long episode on Wednesday 14th February, viewers will discover the depths of Liam’s despair as he is seen to search online ways to kill himself but is interrupted by his mum, Maria Connor.
After suspecting Liam was being bullied, Maria will create a fake SendPx account to keep her eye on her son, which ultimately leads to a horrified Maria discovering the extent of his bullying. This leaves Maria believing the only option left is for Liam to change schools.
Liam’s search history will come to light when his laptop is returned to Weatherfield High and his recent search results are discovered. As Maria fails to notice a missed call from the school, Gary Windass, Liam’s stepfather, is called in. Racing to the salon he breaks the news to Maria that Liam’s been researching ways to kill himself and a terrified Maria rushes back to the flat in a desperate bid to find Liam.
Whilst the school boy decided against ending his own life, he still has a long journey ahead of him over the coming months. Speaking on the upcoming storyline and Liam’s recovery, Samia Longchambon said:
“Maria is really paranoid, and understandably so, given that Liam is from the Connor family and we have all been through similar when Aidan Connor (Liam’s cousin) committed suicide, so I don’t think she will be able to leave Liam alone without fearing the worst.
“This is going to be an ongoing issue for Liam. We are considering all options from homeschooling to counselling. Of course when it comes to mental health, there’s unfortunately a massively long waiting list. I think the great thing about this storyline is that we are doing it in real time. We aren’t rushing this at all and doing everything as it would happen.”
To bring this story to the screen, Coronation Street researchers and writers have been working closely with the National Bullying Helpline to ensure Liam’s story is told as authentically and delicately as possible.
Iain Macleod, Executive Producer of Continuing Drama at ITV, said: “This is a story that will have immense personal resonance for many people - it certainly did for some of the Coronation Street team.
“We felt it was important to show the mental damage that bullying can do to people on the receiving end, especially in the modern world, when children are faced with what can seem like inescapable cyber-bullying. The aggression doesn't stop at the school gates but can find you in the safety of your own home. Having said that, it was also important that across the story as a whole, we showed some hope for Liam and that by speaking up, finally, he can begin the process of escaping his nightmare and beginning to heal.
“We approached this story very carefully, consulting with a number of specialist charities, and I feel the resulting story is truthful, powerful and necessary."