Holby City is set to air one of its most emotional and poignant episodes to date as struggling Sacha Levy is tipped over the edge. Viewers have seen the doctor struggle with depression for a long time and although he feels he has beaten his demons, the devastating outcome for a patient will make him snap and consider ending his own life.
Holby will focus on the topic of male mental health as the much loved professional is overwhelmed by his emotions and distress and ends up on the roof of the hospital. As his colleagues fear that they will lose him, can anyone persuade Sacha that the world will be a worse place without him in it?
The episode allows viewers to explore previous scenes from a new perspective, as the shattered consultant looks back at a testing year at Holby and we get a haunting insight into some of what has been going on in his mind as he has fought to hold it together.
Simon Harper, Executive Producer of Holby City and Casualty, said: This is an incredibly important episode of Holby where we completely depart from our normal format, focusing on one troubled year in the life of one beloved, vulnerable character. Brilliant writer Michelle Lipton shines a light on the vital issue of male mental health and how it can slip under the radar because of the reluctance of many men like Sacha who avoid seeking help for fear of appearing weak.
Bobs performance is absolutely heart-breaking and the series producer, Kate Hall, and I are so proud of him. We are also very grateful to Mind and all the support and advice they have given us on this story.
Jenni Regan, Mind Media Engagement and Awards Manager, said: The media has a huge role in shaping public attitudes, educating people and encouraging people to seek support. Its great to see that Holby City is shining a spotlight on the issue of depression and suicide rates in men. Particularly using such a well-loved and popular character, Sacha. We know when dramatic portrayals of mental health are well done, it can have the potential to improve attitudes towards those of us with mental health problems, and encourage more people to seek help.
Minds Media Advice Service encourages and supports positive and realistic dramatic depictions of mental health problems. The service works with a large number of dramas and continuing dramas series each week and attempts to include input from people with experience of mental health problems, to help shape scripts and storylines.
If you think you or a loved one might be experiencing a mental health problem then seeking help is one of the most important things you can do. Speak to a friend or family member or go to your GP, who can talk you through the support thats available or call the Mind Infoline on 0300 123 3393 for more information.
Suicide is the biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK, with statistics showing that 84 men will take their own lives every single week. Holby are not confirming whether or not Sacha will lose his life in the episode but it has been confirmed recently that a character will die in coming weeks.
The episode is currently scheduled to air on Tuesday 28th August at 8pm on BBC One.