A young man who split from his girlfriend and lost his job during lockdown has killed himself after struggling with his mental health, an inquest has heard. Oliver Smith, 28, was found hanged at his home in Rochdale by his father on January 18 this year.
An inquest at Rochdale Coroners Court found Mr Smith, known as Ollie, had endured a ‘difficult pandemic’ and was suffering from depression. The University of Huddersfield electrical engineering graduate had moved in with his girlfriend at the start of lockdown in March 2020, but they broke up and he moved out in November that year.
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The following March he was made redundant and then struggled to find a new job. Giving evidence to the inquest on Monday, Mr Smith’s mother, Sonia Smith, described him as a ‘unique character’
She said: “The biggest problem he had was trying to get a job. He had quite strong opinions about things and it could impact him in terms of getting and keeping a job. job.
“But if you put him in a social setting with his family, he was the life and soul of the party. He liked to chat, but it didn’t always come.”
Mr Smith, who played lacrosse for Rochdale Lacrosse Club, drank alcohol and smoked cannabis to cope with his depression, the inquest heard. He also took spice for a short time because he learned through research that it wouldn’t show up when he was tested for drugs at work.
The inquest heard how, on Thursday January 13, Mr Smith was due to attend a family reunion at his grandmother’s home following the birth of his nephew. However, that afternoon, his mother found him drunk on the sofa in her house.
She sent him home and later that night he called her in a ‘distressed state and told her he ‘didn’t want to be here’ Ms Smith then rushed to her home. his son on Mansfield Road in Bamford.
She said: “I put my arms around him and held him for about 10 minutes. He was very, very angry and upset.
“He said the world was against him, that everything had gone wrong. I kept telling him that you have a big family, we all love you, you will never be alone.”
Ms Smith said she then spent ‘a few hours with him trying to find out what was wrong’ and urged him to seek professional help, which he promised to do. This weekend, Mr Smith spoke to his family on several occasions and “seemed to be in good spirits”, the inquiry.
But on Tuesday January 18, after Mr Smith failed to show up to carry out work at his father Kelvin’s, he was found by his father hanged in the front room of his house on Mansfield Road. A note was on the floor under him.
The inquest heard earlier today that Mr Smith spoke to his GP about his depression and suicidal thoughts and was urgently referred to mental health services.
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Greater Manchester Bereavement Service The Greater Manchester Bereavement Service can help find support for anyone in Greater Manchester who has been bereaved or affected by a death. No one needs to feel alone in their grief. www.greater-manchester-bereavement-service.org.uk
Child line (0800 1111) runs a helpline for children and young people in the UK. Calls are free and the number will not appear on your phone bill.
PAPYRUS (0800 068 41 41) is a voluntary organization that supports adolescents and young adults who are feeling suicidal.
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Students Against Depression is a website for students who are depressed, in a low mood, or have suicidal thoughts. Bullying UK is a website for children and adults affected by bullying studentagainstdepression.org
For more information and links to charities and organizations that can help with drug addiction, visit https://www.supportline.org.uk/problems/drugs/
Toxicology testing found no evidence of drug or alcohol use. An autopsy revealed that the cause of death was hanging.
Deputy Coroner Alex Preston ruled suicide. Speaking to Mr Smith’s family, she added: “Oliver was very obviously loved by all of you.
“He should have had a long life ahead of him. He seems like a kind and helpful man who had a difficult pandemic.
“He broke up in his relationship, he struggled to find a job, he was reluctant to seek even when his mental health seriously declined. I find that to be far too common among young men his age. . It’s a big regret that he didn’t seek help or share with his family how he felt because I’m sure you would have helped him.”