“It’s OK to talk about mental health.”
That’s the message from a Derbyshire psychiatrist after an inquest heard a 22-year-old committed suicide following a struggle with personal and professional issues.
Jordan Feek suffered in silence before his tragic death – and now the county’s young men are being urged to talk about their feelings and seek help if they are worried about their mental health.
Coroner James Newman told Mr Feek’s inquest: “Society’s greatest demons are drugs and mental health problems.
“Young men don’t want to talk about what’s going on and their feelings.
“Maybe it’s to do with ‘macho culture’.
“Sadly, I see cases like Jordan’s time and time again.”
According to latest Government statistics for 2010-2014, the average suicide rate for Derbyshire men aged between 15 and 34 was 8.8 per 100,000 people.
For women of the same age, the figure was 3.2 suicides per 100,000 people.
Dr Rais Ahmed, a consultant psychiatrist with Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “It’s a big, big issue for our young men and a priority for us.
A lot of people aren’t seeking help because of the stigma surounding mental health – they’re worried about being called ‘mental’, a ‘psycho’Dr Rais Ahmed, a consultant psychiatrist with Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
“I want to get across this very important message – it’s OK to talk about mental health.
“A lot of people aren’t seeking help because of the stigma surounding mental health – they’re worried about being called ‘mental’, a ‘psycho’.
“If you’re concerned about your mental health, please go and see your doctor.
“There are also many other organisations you can contact (see our helplines section).”
Last Wednesday’s inquest heard Mr Feek deliberately walked on to railway track and was hit by a train travelling at almost 80mph.
The court heard he had been in a long-distance relationship with Faridat Agba for just over a year-and-a-half.
A written statement from Ms Agba, which was read out by the coroner, said: “Jordan was very caring and sweet.
“We always spoke about getting married and having children.”
Former Chesterfield College student Mr Feek worked as a welder before becoming a director of an online business.
Ms Agba said this venture encountered difficulties and she noticed a change in her boyfriend.
The court heard Mr Feel also had ‘increasing gambling debts’.
Ms Agba added: “Jordan became down emotionally and didn’t talk to me much.
“I told him he should go and see his doctor but he didn’t.”
Mr Feek’s mother Andrea said: “Jordan could be quiet at times but he enjoyed a joke and loved animals.
“He was a private young man but there were no signs he was depressed in the family home.”
On Saturday, January 16, Mr Feek told his mother – who he loved dearly – that he was going to a friend’s house.
He was hit by the train on track between Mill Lane, Grassmoor, and Bridge Street, New Tupton, and pronounced dead at 9.55pm.
The train driver needed counselling following the tragedy.
In the days before his death, Mr Feek had researched ‘multi-storey car parks’ online – a possible indicator that he was thinking about taking his own life.
Mr Newman ruled the young man committed suicide while the balance of his mind was disturbed and expressed his condolences to his loved ones.
Mental health problems can affect the way you think, feel and behave.
They affect around one in four people in Britain and range from common illnesses such as depression and anxiety to more rare problems like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
A mental health problem can feel just as bad, or worse, as any other physical illness – only you cannot see it.
According to experts, there are a variety of contributing factors to the onset of a mental illness.
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In 2015, Derbyshire County Council approved £85,000 to fund projects to support vulnerable residents at the greatest risk of experiencing mental health problems and suicide.