Melissa Claire Egan & The Young And The Restless Writer On Chelsea’s Journey

What was it like for you after the episode came out, seeing those responses?

Egan: I cried in my car. I did, when I saw how we’d helped people. People said, “I saw myself.” There was one tweet where someone said, “I didn’t know I was depressed until I saw this episode; now I’m going to get help.” A stranger responded to them on Twitter, saying, “This is another number you can call.”

We created this community within strangers of talking about [this] and saying, “Well, me too,” and “My cousin went through this,” and “My mom went through this.” The conversations it has started have been so moving and was what we wanted to have happen. But to see it in front of our eyes has been touching and moving and very humbling.

Griffith: We [wanted] to follow through on that so that we see the recovery period and see Chelsea doing the work, getting the help, getting a support team over the course of a period of time. It wasn’t, “Okay, now we did this, and then she’s fine, and we’re moving on.”

Egan: That’s why I was impressed with our writers. It wasn’t like you put a pin in it, and a week later, she’s like, “I’m good. Now, who’s my next love interest?” It’s her therapy. It’s her making amends. It’s her having setbacks. I’m still shooting episodes where that’s happening. She still struggles. She’s not just better, which wouldn’t be a realistic portrayal. I’m really impressed with the writers.

Griffith: We had a doctor working with us that was amazing that [Egan] talked to. [He had] fantastic input and insight, and whenever we would veer off in the wrong direction, he was very good at saying, “I get why you’re doing that, but here’s a little more realistic way to do it.” It always ended up being actually a more dramatic way to go, realistically.

Egan: Dr. Dan Reidenberg from the International Association for Suicide Prevention was so helpful.

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