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The Daily Express
By MINNIE WRIGHT
PUBLISHED: 08:03, Thu, Mar 29, 2018 | UPDATED: 08:13, Thu, Mar 29, 2018
CORONATION STREET actor Kevin Rowley, 47, took his own life after struggling with depression and anxiety, in particular surrounding ageing, his brother has said.
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The star, who worked as an extra on the likes of Coronation Street and Hollyoaks, was found suffocated in bed at his home in Manchester last August and his brother Paul Rowley has now spoken out about the actor’s mental health in a statement at Manchester Coroner’s Court.
Paul said that his brother had struggled with anxiety and depression since his mid-teens, explaining: “He was very close to his mother and felt the force of her loss when she died.
“He really struggled with significant milestones including his 30th and 40th birthday.
“He made many calls for help and these got more frequent as he got older,” Paul told the court, according to The Mirror.
“I am not aware of physical problems,” he added. “He kept himself fit and healthy – but he had a life long problem with depression.”
Kevin made many calls for help and these got more frequent as he got older
Paul explained that he and his brother kept in touch through texting and phone calls, but said that they hadn’t spoken since January 2017.
Kevin, who also worked as a holiday rep and flight attendant before becoming a counsellor, had moved around a lot as a result of his job.
“He had some relationship problems and financial worries,” Paul said.
Fiona Winstanley, an officer at a mental health access team, also spoke out about Kevin’s mental health issues, explaining that he didn’t want to get too involved with seeking treatment because of concerns he would encounter people he had worked with.
“Kevin made appointments with our team and regularly accessed our services,” she said. “But as he was a counsellor he didn’t want to fully get involved with our services.
Coronation Street actor Kevin Rowley struggled with anxiety around his milestone birthdays
“He said he didn’t want to run into people he worked with previously. He had suicidal tendencies but he kept things to himself.
“He was prescribed medication to reduce anxiety, including diazepam as this had helped him in the past,” she said.
“He was spoken to about the crisis point and he said he would not access it and he did not get involved with the crisis team. Some days he felt he needed it, some days he felt he recovered.”
Manchester coroner Jean Harkin recorded a conclusion of suicide, saying: “It is clear that Kevin had a history of mental health issues and suicidal idealisation and there is evidence he accessed support services.
“There was a note found detailing his wishes when he died and the evidence supports the fact that Kevin intended to die.
Coronation Street extra Kevin Rowley was found dead at his home
“I want to offer my condolences to his friends and his brother.”
After Kevin’s death, £1,600 was raised for his funeral and the Sanctuary consoling service in Manchester where he worked.
On the Just Giving page which was set up for contributions, those close to him describes him as someone with “a smile on his face”, with one simply writing: “A good man.”
“He devoted a lot of his time supporting people with mental health issues and helped countless people though the day and night in crisis at the Sanctuary,” another said.
Kevin’s friend Max Hussain thanked donors for their generosity, saying: “It’s amazing to see so many people, some who knew Kev and some who didn’t come together to support us at this difficult time. We are deeply moved.”