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Manchester Evening News
By Sophie WheelerTodd FitzgeraldNews editor
07:20, 29 JAN 2020 UPDATED 11:34, 29 JAN 2020
‘He came to you and you turned him away’, his devastated mother told medics at an inquest into his death
A ‘broken’ young man, Joe Black went to his GP for help.
He’d been having thoughts about taking his own life.
Following a difficult break-up, the 21-year-old was struggling; his mental health detriorating.
He’d previously taken an overdose and attempted to drown himself.
The doctor sent Joe to A&E and flagged him as an urgent case – a suicide risk.
Psychiatric experts referred him back to his GP.
Inpatient admission was not needed, they said; he needed instead to ‘work on self care’.
Three days later, Joe – a ‘beautiful’ young man making his way in the world – was found hanged.
Joe on his 17th birthday
Work pals, worried about Joe after he failed to turn up for his shift, made the horrific discovery at his Macclesfield flat.
Joe’s mum Clare hoped for answers at an inquest into his death.
Instead, she says she has been left disappointed by the coroner’s decision not to make official recommendations to NHS bodies in light of the case.
“I don’t understand what more someone needs to do,” Clare, 41, told the Manchester Evening News.
“The alarm bells were ringing. Aside from saying ‘I’m going to kill myself’, what more could he have done?”
Clare, giving evidence at Cheshire Coroners’ Court, told medics: “He came to you and you turned him away.”
The court earlier heard Joe – who was head boy at school – studied at university in Sheffield for a year.
His mental health deteriorated during a three-year relationship.
Joe dropped out of university before the relationship broke down at the end of July last year.
He was left isolated having cut himself off from friends.
In the weeks before his death, on August 12, he had been trying to get on with his life and make a fresh start. He joined the gym the day of his death.
The court heard Joe struggled to cope with rumours about the relationship after it ended.
Joe as a teenager
Clare told the hearing: “His relationship with his girlfriend broke down and she moved out about a fortnight before Joe’s death.
“His studies didn’t work out and there where relationship difficulties. He decided to leave university at the end of first year.
“[It] was a difficult separation and it hit Joe hard. At the time of his death, she still had some of her belongings in the flat.”
Clare said Joe fell ‘madly in love’ with the young woman in 2015, but that his mental health started to deteriorate.
“I was aware he was on and off anti-depressants that would cause his mood to go up and down,” Clare added.
“Triggers for his moods included abandonment and isolation. There were previous incidents of self harm, on two occasions.