EastEnders theory: Jean Slater in fresh heartbreak as Harvey rejects efforts to reunite

EastEnders: Jean Slater admits herself back into hospital

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Jean (played by Gillian Wright) recently admitted herself into a mental health unit after realising the toll her bipolar relapse was having on her family members. A few months ago, whilst in the midst of her episode, she was all set to marry Harvey Monroe (Ross Boatman), who refused to take her daughter Stacey Slater’s (Lacey Turner) concerns about her mum’s health seriously. It’s possible that, once she makes full recovery, EastEnders favourite Jean will return to Walford with wedding bells in mind once again. But Harvey may not feel the same anymore. Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, a bipolar expert highlighted the stigma still surrounding the illness.

Dr Elena Touroni, a consultant psychologist and co-founder of The Chelsea Psychology Clinic, told Express.co.uk how bipolar and other mental health conditions are still viewed by some in an outdated way.

“I would say that there is still a general stigma around mental health,” she explained.

“For a long time, mental health has been a taboo subject and people struggling with mental health difficulties were seen to be inferior or defective in some way.

“While there has been a real cultural shift in recent years, we still haven’t been openly talking about mental health for long enough and there is certainly more to be done.”

Talking about how EastEnders has highlighted the effect the condition can have not just on the person suffering but on their friends and family, Dr Elena stated: “Unfortunately, this is an area that is generally under-resourced in mental health.

“While we have Carer Assessments for people who are caring for someone with a severe mental health difficulty, overall we could be doing much more – both in terms of creating more resources in the community and also more funding for psychological support.”

Discussing how long a patient will typically remain in hospital being treated for a mental health condition, the doctor continued: “It can vary – it could be from days to weeks to months.

“It depends on how quickly an episode subsides, their response to medication/therapy and the assessment that they will be safe outside of hospital.”

After months in hospital, it could be the case that Jean will be making a return to the Square soon.

When Jean and Harvey first started dating, the latter upset Jean by making comments about his ex-wife being sent to “the funny farm.”

Jean soon opened up to him about her bipolar and he admitted he often makes outdated comments, but didn’t mean what he had said.

“I shouldn’t have said it,” Harvey told her when they later bumped into each other again.

He continued: “I understand why you think I’m out of order, but when I said about my ex-wife and the funny farm…

“I know, it’s just typical me, isn’t it? Always saying the wrong thing.

“I can never say the right thing, and it’s like the world’s changing so fast and I just can’t keep up.”

He began to say: “Maybe you can’t teach an old dog-” when Jean interrupted, stating: “You can be kinder at any age.”

“No, you’re right,” Harvey replied. “There’s no excuses. And I’m sorry, I’m really sorry.”

“Are you finished?” Jean asked, as Harvey paused before pouring his heart out to her about how he feels.

Forgiving him, Jean ended up kissing Harvey and the two began their romantic relationship.

It could be that Harvey was all talk though, because he was unwilling to recognise Jean’s relapse despite Stacey’s concerns.

Also, since Jean was hospitalised, it doesn’t seem like she and Harvey have shared much communication.

It could be that Harvey finds Jean’s condition too much to accept, and is hoping to stay apart.

Jean will be heartbroken if she returns and realises the marriage she was hoping for might not happen.

Will the character suffer more heartache if Harvey ends their relationship for good?

Jean has faced a challenging time lately, and another blow might lead her to say goodbye to Walford.

She might decide to start afresh somewhere else, perhaps moving close to her son, Sean Slater (Robert Kazinsky).

Or could Harvey’s character develop as he proves he can accept Jean for who she is and be with her in spite of her condition?

Either way, it seems the two will have a lot of decisions to make once Jean returns to Walford, as they haven’t seen in each other in a long time.

EastEnders continues on Tuesday at 7.30pm on BBC Two.

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