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Family's tribute to Dartford Grammar School student, Ryan Hart, who died after suffering from depression

Ryan Hart, 16, was found in his bedroom by his father, Stephen, at their home in Watling Street, Dartford on Saturday January 16.

He had recently received outstanding results in his mock GSCE exams.

Research shows that men are less likely to ask for help from friends, family or mental health services than women. Stock picture

Research shows that men are less likely to ask for help from friends, family or mental health services than women. Stock picture

An inquest at Gravesend’s Old Town Hall last week heard that Ryan ‘seemed normal and reasonably happy’ when he got home from school the day before he died, but searches on his laptop suggested he was suffering from depression.

A post-mortem at Darent Valley Hospital concluded the cause of death was hanging. Coroner Roger Hatch concluded that Ryan’s death was due to suicide, and expressed sympathy to the family.

"Since this time we have experienced a massive range of emotions, including shock, disbelief and overwhelming guilt. Countless ‘what if’ and ‘if only’ scenarios have been played and replayed in our thoughts"

His family issued their own tribute after the inquest.

It read: “On January 16 this year, our hearts were broken and our lives shattered by the apparent suicide of our dear son, Ryan. He was just 16 years old.

“It is still unclear why Ryan took his own life. We were not aware of any issues, and neither his family nor his friends and teachers at school had any idea of what was to come.

“Since this time we have experienced a massive range of emotions, including shock, disbelief and overwhelming guilt. Countless ‘what if’ and ‘if only’ scenarios have been played and replayed in our thoughts.

“Our lives are empty without him. Part of us died that night too. His dad, Stephen, says he not only lost a son but also a friend.

“His mum, Kerstin, is devastated too, particularly missing his witty comments when climbing or mountain-biking. He was the light of our lives. Could we have done anything differently? Why did he have to leave us like this?

“Where there was once banter and laughter, there is now only silence.”

Ryan’s family urged those suffering from depression to reach out for help from charities such as CALM, which is dedicated to preventing male suicide, and Papyrus, which works to prevent suicide among young people.

Dartford Grammar head John Oakes said the Year 11 student would be greatly missed.

“The whole community at Dartford Grammar School was deeply shocked and saddened by the loss of Ryan, and this was particularly felt in Ryan’s year group,” he said.

“Ryan had always been fully involved in the school, and had just gained 8 A* and A grades in his mock GCSEs. He is much missed.”

Call CALM for confidential help and advice on 0800 58 58 58. Papyrus can be contacted on 0800 068 41 41.

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