EastEnders viewers thanked Friday night’s episode for drawing attention to mental health issues in men after Lee Carter made the last-second decision not to kill himself.
Months of money woes, bullying and desperate acts came to a head for Lee, played by Danny-Boy Hatchard and he contemplated jumping from a high building after convincing himself that his wife and family would be better off without him.
It was a situation that hit home for people watching…
The storyline with Lee is really powerful #eastenders— deutschmikey #FBPE 🇪🇺 (@deutschmikey) December 30, 2016
I feel so sad for Lee, He can't see a way out and believes that everyone is better than him. Depression is so cruel. #Eastenders— Loriana♒💜 (@LorianaFirth) December 30, 2016
Lee's storyline, and where he is right now, is so very important. This happens in real life, and isn't something to laugh at #eastenders— Georgia (@hellogeorgiagi) December 30, 2016
What a job Eastenders are doing on this depression storyline. Still a huge stigma around mental illness in men and we must talk about that.— kieran (@kielawrence97) December 30, 2016
aww poor lee. SO many young lads go through a lot of mental health problems due to pressures of having to 'be a man' and stuff! #Eastenders— c l α я є в ε მ я (@cLare_beaR_) December 30, 2016
Lee Carter's performance was heartbreaking. Shows how depression can affect anyone, even those from 'perfect' families. #eastenders— Parveen (@Parveen_Comms) December 30, 2016
And it gave many people the opportunity to hit back at the idea that people with depression “just need to man-up”…
The whole 'man up' phrase in regards to Lee Carter in #Eastenders is precisely why Eastenders are doing this storyline.— Cal (@Panayisalad) December 29, 2016
Sick of tweets saying "Lee should jump" or "Lee should man up" 😡 #EastEnders— Gossip Enders (@GossipEnders) December 30, 2016
As well as highlight other issues connected to the problem…
Viewers also appreciated the new addition of Karen the parking attendant, who sat and spoke to Lee, eventually convincing him of his value and helping him climb back to safety…
Thank god for the lovely ticket lady! Offering an ear to Lee. #Eastenders— Dela Kobic (@Delakobic) December 30, 2016
Karen is really helping Lee...everyone needs support💔 #EastEnders— ☁️Codie (@TeamEECarter) December 30, 2016
Writers of the show, and Danny-Boy actually worked with the Samaritans charity to write the script, which the actor said he was “honoured” to be a part of.
He said: “I think that kind of drive to abolish that stigma and to encourage people who are suffering to talk and to know that it is OK, the way that they are feeling … It’s a responsibility I’m happy to take.”