EASTENDERS is working with the mental health charity Mind on Isaac Baptiste’s schizophrenia storyline.
The teacher – who is played by actor Stevie Basaula in the BBC soap – has been diagnosed with the condition but has stopped taking his medication after becoming convinced he was misdiagnosed.
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Mind helped "give an insight into the emotional and social experience of living with schizophrenia, particularly looking at attitudes towards mental health in African Caribbean communities", according to a statement from the makers of the programme.
Viewers will see Isaac deal with stigma from friends and family, it added.
The storyline coincides with Mental Health Awareness Week, which begins on Monday.
Basaula said: "This is close to my heart, to be telling Isaac's story is a privilege.
"I hope it will start a dialogue for people to have conversations about mental health and that anyone living with the condition will feel seen.
"Working with Mind has been so useful, I spoke to a young man who bravely shared his story and it was inspiring to learn how he's managing his condition.
"There's so much we think we know about schizophrenia, but it's often not the reality for people living with the condition.
"I hope that anyone engaging with Isaac's story will gain a better understanding and can approach someone they know that may be struggling from a more positive place."
EastEnders executive producer Jon Sen said: "Working with Mind has been imperative in ensuring we tell Isaac's story truthfully.
"There's a multitude of layers to this storyline and Mind's expertise has been crucial as we explore Isaac's experience."
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