Emmerdale is set to air a special episode as Paddy Kirk (Dominic Brunt) continues his mental health recovery.
In the episode set to air on Thursday May 11, viewers will see Paddy seek help for his mental health away from the village, following his attempt to take his own life in March.
As much as Paddy is grateful for the support of his Man Club friends, his family and the wider village community who have all rallied round to help him, he has felt somewhat constrained about opening up and talking his problems through with his immediate friends.
This is something that Neil Wain from Andy’s Man Club, the charity that has been working alongside Emmerdale on this storyline, says is a common occurrence in real life.
‘In reality many men take the step to travel out of their area to attend clubs so they can really be themselves and talk freely with strangers and to see Paddy doing this is a real life snapshot of the thought process for many men.’
Emmerdale producer Laura Shaw agreed, saying: ‘We’ve already seen Paddy speaking to his GP, being prescribed medication, going for counselling and talking to his friends and family, to help him with his struggling mental health.
‘Our research showed that in addition to these things, many people find it easier to talk to strangers about their problems and so we wanted to show Paddy doing just that – opening up in a different environment and talking to strangers. ‘
The episode itself was filmed at the grounds of Bradford City Football Club, in the same meeting room that is used for real Andy’s Man Club Meetings.
While this presented some challenges for the design team, due to the Football sponsorships being in place, using this venue was a deliberate choice by the Emmerdale production team, as Laura explained.
‘It was vitally important to us that we portrayed these scenes authentically, hence the scenes were shot on location at a real Andy’s Man Club venue and AMC carefully and brilliantly guided us through scripting and filming the scenes so they were as true to life as possible.
‘We hope if anyone watching is feeling like Paddy, like they can’t talk to friends or family, they might be encouraged by these scenes to reach out to their own local club for help and support.’
‘Bradford City FC, and in particular, Director of Operations, Paula Watson, have been fantastic in making this happen, not only for this Emmerdale episode, but in allowing us to use Valley Parade as a venue for AndysManClub in Bradford.’ Neil Wain explained.
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