Hollyoaks launch male mental health podcast episode in line with Darren's storyline

Ashley Taylor Dawson Hollyoaks

Darren has been struggling with his mental health lately...

Hollyoaks character Darren Osborne has been battling with mental health, and a new podcast episode aims to raise awareness.

Darren's actor Ashley Taylor Dawson appeared on C4's Don't Filter Feelings podcast to address male mental health.

He joined host Lauren Layfield and mental health adviser Josh Connolly to discuss the important topic.

Usually the Hollyoaks podcast record on set, but they had to change things around due to lockdown.

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Speaking about caring for yourself during lockdown, Ashley said you have to "make it something".

He added, "It’s either you are going through a portal or going into a hole, and that’s how you’ve got to attack it really.

"You’ve got to make it something, make it an experience instead of wallowing in the misery of what it could be."

Ashley then spoke about his character Darren's storyline, saying, "He just wasn't feeling anything. He wasn't enjoying anything."

"Even his kids, he'd completely switched off and became numb to the world around him."

Hollyoaks podcast

Darren has slowly been opening up about his mental health.

"The whole point of this storyline is to help people, and to get people to communicate. Whether that's talking or opening up to someone, or communicating with themselves."

Josh Connolly told listeners that men have a tendency to "bury emotions" which can lead to problems such as addiction, anxiety and depression.

He said, "What we need to do more of is, rather than tell people to talk, let's start creating spaces where people can feel heard."

"Because then people will talk, and they do talk."

Hollyoaks is shown weekdays on C4 at 6.30pm with the next episode following on E4.

Lucy Buglass
Senior Staff Writer

Lucy joined the WhatToWatch.com team in 2021, where she writes series guides for must-watch programmes, reviews and the latest TV news. Originally from Northumberland, she graduated from Oxford Brookes University with a degree in Film Studies and moved to London to begin a career writing about entertainment.

She is a Rotten Tomatoes approved film critic and has a huge passion for cinema. She especially loves horror, thriller and anything crime-related. Her favourite TV programmes include Inside No 9, American Horror Story, Stranger Things and Black Mirror but she is also partial to a quiz show or a bit of Say Yes to the Dress