Lauren McQueen to tackle self harm storyline for Hollyoaks

Hollyoaks is working with Samaritans and MIND on a new storyline where Lily Drinkwell will begin self-harming.

“Lily has always been the strong, fearless, independent girl who’s never cared about ‘imperfection’. But after the crash the viewers will see a side to her that is vulnerable and insecure. Lily has also been affected by the devastation of losing her mum, and Scott trying to take his own life. She feels that self-harming will help but viewers will instantly see how much she regrets what she’s done.” – Lauren McQueen

Following a car crash, in which Lily, played by Lauren McQueen, was permanently scarred, as well as a troubled past, Lily is struggling to explain her feelings to her family. Her scar has left her crippled with self-consciousness, despite her friends and love interest, Prince McQueen (Malique Thompson-Dwyer) telling her how beautiful she is.

Her feelings of insecurity escalate as she prepares to sleep with Prince for the first time and some passing comments from his dad make her back out. Prince doesn’t know why Lily has rejected him and sleeps with someone else. This is the catalyst for angry and embarrassed Lily to self-harm for the first time and, although she instantly feels ashamed, it’s only the start of Lily’s mental health battle. This storyline will form part of Hollyoaks’ #DontFilterFeelings mental health campaign.

“Soap storylines can help open up important conversations about difficult issues. Self-harm is very often hidden and even when it’s obvious that a young person may be harming themselves, friends, parents and carers can be unsure about how to intervene. We hope that Lily’s story will encourage more people to reach out for help and find different coping mechanisms. Even the worst feelings will subside and learning to live without self-harming is possible.” – Lorna Fraser, Samaritans’ Media Advisor

Samaritans and MIND were consulted about the storyline. One in four young women aged 16-24 surveyed in England say that they have self-harmed at some point in their life, and serious self-harm is one of the strongest indicators that someone, male or female, may be at risk of taking their own life.

“I’m so grateful to have been given such a challenging storyline and having the opportunity to work with Samaritans and Mind. I hope I can bring awareness to people like Lily and to let them know that they aren’t alone.” – Lauren McQueen

Lily will self-harm for the first time week commencing 31st July and the storyline will be ongoing within Channel 4’s Hollyoaks. The saga airs weeknights at 6.30pm