After several weeks of choosing to keep a professional diagnosis of clinical depression to himself, Steve McDonald finally confided in his ex-partner Michelle Connor on the night that he was driving the Street Cars minibus carrying Carla Connor and the Underworld machinists en-route to an award ceremony at the Marbury Hall Hotel in Cheshire. After being run off the road by joyriders, the minibus crashed off the road and overturned, hanging precariously off the edge of a quarry. Several of the passengers suffered minor injuries, but Sinead Tinker suffered significant spinal damage and still hospitalised, was facing the prospect of never walking again. In light of Steve's admission, Michelle decided to give their relationship another try and determined to support him through his illness, she accompanied Steve on his initial appointment with a Therapist at the end of January 2015 and tried to reassure him that he couldn't let the repercussions of the crash get in the way of talking about his problems.
After being called into the consultation room, the therapist - sensing that Steve was finding it difficult to open up - explained that all information discussed would be treated in the strictest confidence and they would take the sessions at Steve's pace. After putting his client at ease somewhat, Steve began to explain how he felt that he'd let family and friends down, and how Sinead's boyfriend Chesney Brown had attacked him in the street. The therapist tried to suggest that people's reactions were probably more likely to be out of frustration rather than hatred, and that he should be primarily focusing on himself and his own feelings. Back at the Rovers and reflecting on how the counselling session had gone, Michelle told Steve that she appreciated how difficult it had been for him to admit he needed help and promised that it would get easier in time.
At a subsequent session, Steve described how he felt when things were at their worst, talking through his feelings of nothingness about himself and how pointless everything seemed. He couldn't understand the sadness he perceived in the world but admitted that the tablets he had been diagnosed were working, despite their side effects. He felt that the people around him were doing their best but Liz McDonald and Michelle Connor's over-attention mean that he felt he had no breathing space and they were making things ten times worse.