Published: 00:01, 06 September 2017 |
Alex Wheeler was about to celebrate his 22nd birthday when the tragedy happened.
The former Borden Grammar and Fulston Manor pupil left home to study music technology before moving to Hampton in Surrey, taking a job in insurance.
His mum, Suzanne Middleton-Elliott, of Ruins Barn Road, Sittingbourne, said she last spoke to him on October 9.
It later transpired Mr Wheeler had lost his job in insurance, due to time-keeping issues.
The coroner was told he was found on November 16 by a neighbour, who called for paramedics. Mr Wheeler had hanged himself.
He was rushed to hospital, and doctors turned off his life-support at Kingston Hospital four days later.
Mr Wheeler had ignored his mum’s attempts to speak to him before his death, and she said she never thought he would do
what he did.
Speaking following the inquest, she said: “I did a bit of investigation into his emails to help the coroner build a picture.
“I found he had lost his job, but had told us he didn’t have any money problems even though he’d had no income since August.
“He was very private and must have found it hard, been embarrassed, or couldn’t find a way to say.
“He’d applied for jobs but hadn’t found any, and went into a complete downward spiral. If he’d had a job then he’d be here.”
She described him as very kind, talented, funny, and caring, but said he couldn’t articulate what he needed.
“He didn’t give us the opportunity to help him,” she added.
“He was very private and must have found it hard, been embarrassed, or couldn’t find a way to say" - Suzanne Middleton-Elliott
At the inquest at Surrey Coroner’s Court, a conclusion was reached his death was suicide and the cause was a hypoxic brain injury caused by hanging.
Since his death, Suzanne has been working to raise awareness of mental health issues, especially in young men, by visiting schools in Swale and delivering training for teachers to help them spot the signs someone might be struggling.
She plans to keep working with organisations, and hopes to set up a charity in his name aimed at helping men communicate their problems.
For confidential support, call the Samaritans on 116 123.
Every morning at 10am we play you an hour of tunes from the 90s. We call it, #WeLoveThe90s.
Play 'Say It' with Garry and Laura on kmfm Breakfast and you could win £1,000!
Wake up to kmfm Breakfast with Garry and Laura - it's Kent's alarm call.
Your No1 guide to getting married in Kent. From dresses to discos and venues to veils, we've got everything you could possibly need for your big day
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
Get the latest food and drink news, recipes from some of the nation's top chefs plus updates from Kent's vineyards and breweries.
Search in your local area to find your perfect partner in Kent, with FreshStart Dating!
PLUS, register for free!.
Read our pick of the best holiday destinations. Whether its a weekend break, or something a little bit longer, we have reviewed a wide range of holidays.