Action on Postpartum Psychosis has collaborated with British soap opera Hollyoaks to help create one of the soap’s biggest storylines for Christmas 2020 and into the new year.
This sees the character Liberty Savage (played by actress Jessamy Stoddart), become ill with postpartum psychosis following the birth of her child in September.
The Hollyoaks production team talked to mental health experts and women with first-hand experience of the illness to help create a realistic storyline for Liberty. APP Director, Dr Jess Heron, and APP Coordinators with personal experience of postpartum psychosis, Hannah Bissett and Dr Sally Wilson, have worked closely with the Hollyoaks team since February. APP’s team have commented on draft scripts and reviewed footage to help shape the postpartum psychosis storyline. Members of APP’s support network and clinical experts have also met (virtually) with actress Jessamy Stoddart to share their personal stories.
The Hollyoaks postpartum psychosis storyline has been building since September, when character Liberty Savage gave birth. Liberty has been showing signs that all might not be well, and things will reach crisis-point in December, when she will be admitted to hospital over Christmas.
APP Director Dr Jess Heron said:
Although Liberty’s story can't represent the story of all women who have postpartum psychosis - every experience of the illness is unique - APP hopes that the Hollyoaks portrayal will go some way to raise much-needed awareness of this illness, help reduce stigma, and help those who develop postpartum psychosis get diagnosed and treated more quickly, ideally in a specialist Mother and Baby Unit.
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