Plumber who took own life had 'money issues' caused by lockdown

A plumber who took his own life had been struggling with money worries after losing work during lockdown, an inquest has heard.

Gethin Hurse was found hanged at his Uplands home in Swansea on May 4 after he told ambulance staff on the phone that he was going to take his own life.

A Swansea coroner was told that the 39-year-old had battled years of mental health problems which were exacerbated by spending time off work during lockdown. Hurse was also suffering from money worries because of the loss of work, the inquest heard.

He had reportedly just split from his wife Kirsten two weeks earlier and his relationship with the mother of his two children, Nicola Westacott, was under strain.

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The inquest also heard how Hurse had been diagnosed with depression at the age of 13 after he had been hit hard by the discovery that his father had multiple sclerosis.

Acting senior coroner Colin Phillips, who recorded a conclusion of suicide, said: ‘Gethin suffered with a number of mental health issues for a long period. He had certain issues with alcohol.

‘There was a number of stress on his life, he had split from his wife and
had issues with his previous girlfriend or wife.

‘I think it was accepted that his business was suffering as a plumber
during the Covid-19 period. He had issues money wise.’

During the inquest, it was revealed Hurse had phoned the ambulance and given his flat address before telling the operator: ‘I’m done.’

On being asked for the postcode of his flat, he said: ‘no, thank you,’ the coroner heard. He then apparently told the emergency service that he lived in the ‘top flat’ before saying: ‘goodbye.’

Speaking earlier this year, Hurse’s widow Kirsten described him as a
‘beautiful soul with a huge heart and infectious smile’

She told Wales Online that her husband was a well-respected plumber and gas engineer who loved his job very much, but the time off exacerbated his mental health difficulties.

‘To look at him you would never think he would have mental health
issues. It was not because he didn’t love me or his children – he just
could not cope living anymore,’ she added.

She has since raised money for suicide prevention charity Papyrus and has
been keen to raise awareness about the issue.

‘There is so much stigma attached to it and it’s talking to people to try
and raise awareness to help just one person,’ she added.

It comes after experts at Rethink Mental Illness found that the number of people turning to their website for support with suicidal thoughts has tripled since the start of the pandemic.

With Brits facing months more of money woes, Chancellor Rishi Sunak extended the Government’s furlough scheme until the end of March 2021.

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