A GP has urged people to check in on elderly relatives, neighbors and friends after a Coronation Street storyline highlighted the risk of suicide and mental health issues.
A scene from last night’s episode showed Audrey Roberts (Sue Nicholls) telling Gail Rodwell (Helen Worth) that she had attempted suicide or, as she put it, tried to ‘check out’ .
Speaking on Lorraine, Dr Amir Khan said the plot highlights an under-reported problem of poor mental health in older people.
“As people get older, things change for them,” he said. “They have illnesses that can cause pain, that can prevent them from leaving the house…often family members have moved far away, so they don’t see them.”
Dr Amir said loneliness plays a big role in the difficulties faced by older people.
Audrey Roberts’ (Sue Nicholls) heartbreaking Coronation Street storyline highlighted the importance of looking after the mental health of older people, a GP says
Referencing the episode, Dr Khan continued: ‘We are used to her in Coronation Street, she is an icon. We’re used to her being talkative, social…but as she got older, she became more isolated.
“And for some, as they get older, their partners and friends may also pass away, which adds to the loneliness. All of this can have an impact on their mental health.
Dr. Amir revealed that he frequently sees older patients who are tormented by the burden of aging.
“I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen old people here in my clinic and they say to me, ‘Don’t get old Dr Amir, it’s just not worth it’.
He advised: “If you know someone who is older or isolated, now is a really good time to give them a call, or just a text… because the cost of living crisis has hit us all… the mental health is really important to talk about right now.
Speaking on Lorraine, Dr Amir Khan said the plot, which saw Sue Nicholls’ character admit she had attempted suicide, demonstrates the less discussed difficulties that come with ageing.
Referencing the episode, in which the matriarch makes her confession to Gail Rodwell (Helen Worth), Dr. Amir explained how her life changed as she got older.
Viewers saw Audrey receiving treatment in hospital in July, telling a doctor she had accidentally taken too many tablets and later insisting that was the case to her own GP .
In emotional scenes last month, Audrey told Roy Cropper (David Neilson), Rita Sullivan (Barbara Knox) Claudia Colby (Rula Lenska) and Ken Barlow (William Roache) that the overdose was actually an attempt to suicide.
Actress Sue Nicholls said of the storyline: “Audrey is so sorry for what she did and her first reaction was definitely to hide it from her family.” The family means a lot to her, and will always remain so, despite the occasional sniping.
“She also loves and is grateful to be independent and to live happily in her own home, although the only big regret that has contributed to this latest situation is the wish that dear Alfie (Bryan Mosley) was still alive and there. with her so they could have aged and just as doting together.
“Her family, busy with their own lives, see her depressed and upset as she cannot cope with the real world and she feels they have started to treat her a bit like a child and she has started to feel depressed.
He advised: “If you know someone who is older or lonely, now is a really good time to give them a call, or just a text…”
“She is generally very healthy and whole, but her depression seems to be totally taking over.
“Once she was able to speak with her friends, and they opened up about their difficulties, she realized how much they had helped her enormously with her problems.
“Dr. Gaddas (Christine Mackie) has prescribed her antidepressants, but again her stubbornness kicks in and she doesn’t take them.
“Fortunately, speaking to her longtime friends, they persuaded her to follow the doctor’s advice and she sincerely thanks them for making life lighter in every way.
“Now that’s the message I want people to take away from this story, the importance of being able to talk to people you trust about how you feel.”
“Sometimes the younger generation may think that anyone over 70 is not capable of making decisions, which can cause older people to lose their sense of purpose and start to feel utterly useless.
“I’m lucky to work with people of all ages. I have no idea how old many of them are and I don’t need to know. I like talking with them and taking into account what they say about the issues we discuss, regardless of our age.
Sue added that she hopes this scenario will help older people in need to reach out and ask for help.
She said: “So I’d like to say ‘Listen Audrey, I’m still learning about life at 79 and I really hope to continue.’
“I hope this script helps older people to reach out and start talking about how they feel and that younger people will be aware of how much the older generation still has to offer.”
This scenario coincides with the latest campaign from ITV’s mental health initiative, Britain Get Talking.
Britain Get Talking aims to encourage us all to take steps to proactively care for our mental health by connecting with others, with a current focus on anxiety among young people.
. doctor general practitioner underlines balance sheet loneliness on mental health of the people elderly