A mum-of-two recorded a heartbreaking video detailing her long battle with depression just moments before taking her own life, an inquest heard.
The Samaritans are available to listen at any time. Ring the free 24/7 helpline on 116123 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Amie Collier was found hanged at her home in Abram in July after sending the harrowing clip to the father of one of her children, in which she expressed concerns that her family would never be able to fully understand the impact of her mental illness.
The 33-year-old mum was alone in the house and had sent a text message to Anthony Clay, who was out shopping with their daughter, saying her "head got too sad" and asked for forgiveness from her children, before recording the eight-minute long video.
Mr Clay rushed home to find her unconscious, and she was rushed to intensive care at Wigan Infirmary but, tragically, she had suffered irreversible brain damage and died days later.
In an inquest at Bolton Crown Court, Assistant Coroner Catherine Cundy recorded a verdict of suicide after hearing evidence from Mr Clay, Ms Collier’s mother Susan, as well as police and medical witnesses.
Mr Clay, a Royal Marine, revealed they would sometimes clash over their alcohol consumption.
He said: “Behind closed doors there were times where she would just drink, and drink and it did concern me to the point where I said ‘Amie - you’re drinking too much’.”
He added: "Sometimes it was very much a case of she put a face on for the world.
"Everywhere she would go, she would be the heart and the soul of the party. She was the star who walked in the room but I knew from living alongside her that that smile wasn’t always the case."
The couple discussed the possibility that she may be suffering from post-natal depression, and eventually they both agreed to have couples counselling, which was paid for by the Royal Marines.
She also visited her GP earlier this year, indicating she had thoughts about self-harm but that she wouldn't act on them. She was prescribed anti-depressants.
But her mental battles took another turn when her stepfather died in July.
“It hit her badly, she was really close to him” Ms Collier’s mum Susan told the inquest.
On July 16, she asked Mr Clay to take their daughter out as she wanted to be alone for a little while. They went to the Trafford Centre so he could buy a suit for the funeral, as well as some swimwear for Ms Collier ahead of her upcoming trip to France to visit her father.
The couple were texting each other and discussing what Mr Clay should buy, but minutes later he received another message which said: “Please forgive me for leaving my children. Tell them I love them so much but that mummy’s head got too sad.”
"Please make sure they are well looked after and my mum is kept safe and well.”
Mr Clay immediately raced home, calling his father for assistance during the journey, but tragically they found her hanged in the bathroom. She died several days later in hospital, having suffered a cardiac arrest and an hypoxic brain injury due to oxygen starvation.
A post-mortem found high levels of alcohol in her system - more than twice what would be the drink-drive limit, which “could have affected her mood and emotional instability and could’ve made her more depressed,” said Pathologist Dr Stephen Wells.
Before taking her own life, she had recorded a video message and sent it to Mr Clay, who could not bear to watch it and instead passed it on to the police.
In it, Ms Collier detailed her struggle with depression and asked for forgiveness for leaving her children.
Recording a conclusion of suicide, Ms Cundy: “Amie presented something of a mixed picture to those closest to her. She had clearly experienced the loss of her stepfather but was making active plans to visit her father in France.
“On July 16 she sent her daughter off to the Trafford Centre as her partner needed to buy a suit. She messaged him asking to buy a swimming costume and he sent her pictures of ones she might want. Within a matter of minutes she sent a message asking for forgiveness, asking him to make sure her mother was safe and well.”
She added: “I’m satisfied that her video message indicated that events going back many years had led to her depression with which she felt she could no longer cope.”
The Samaritans are available to listen at any time. Ring the free 24/7 helpline on 116123, or email email@example.com