Wigan mum issues mental health warning after son took his own life

Jamie Murray
Jamie Murray
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The mum of a popular Wigan man who was found hanged at a secluded spot has urged others in need to seek help.

Jamie Murray died at a bridge close to the Morrison’s supermarket in Higher Ince on December 30 last year, Bolton Coroner’s Court heard.

The inquest was told the 20-year-old’s life spiralled dramatically downhill after he lost his job at a recycling centre and his relationship broke up.

Tragically, this all happened a very short time after he was discharged from the mental health services because he was recovering so well from a previous attempt to hang himself and was settled with his partner and her family.

A handwritten note found by police left coroner Timothy Brennan in no doubt that Jamie, sadly, had intended to bring his life to an end.

His mum Adele Cullen said afterwards that she hoped her son’s terrible story might convince other men to talk about their feelings and seek help.

The inquest heard that Jamie Murray loved sport and was such a talented footballer he had attracted the attention of scouts as a young player. He struggled with reading and writing and sometimes found it difficult to express himself but despite that had found a job at a recycling centre and had a girlfriend.

However, his life fell apart after he lost his employment and the relationship ended, leaving him sofa surfing.

He isolated himself from his relations, telling them he was fine and not turning up at the family’s usual Boxing Day get-together.

His body was found at a bridge near a footpath off Battersby Street in Higher Ince, close to the Morrison’s supermarket, on December 30. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The inquest heard that Jamie’s life taking a turn for the worse happened very shortly after he had been discharged by mental health teams at the North West Boroughs Foundation Trust.

He had been admitted to Atherleigh Park in Leigh after previous attempts to harm himself but when senior nurse practitioner Natalie Marland visited him at the home of his girlfriend’s parents in October he was doing so well he could be discharged.

A second North West Boroughs employee who saw him in October, Santhia McLellan, spoke to his girlfriend and there was no hint of any relationship difficulties.

Christopher Peake, who carried out a case review for the Trust, was asked if professionals could in future ask service users if there were any other family members they wanted to be contacted and he said this could be looked into.

The inquest did hear that a test for borderline personality disorder was not done while Jamie was in hospital but Mr Brennan did not believe this would have changed the outcome of the case.

The family told the inquest that Jamie was unlikely to seek help once his mental health deteriorated even though he had been signposted to organisations to contact if things took a downturn.

Mr Brennan said the authorities had acted appropriately in their dealings with Jamie and the family had also done everything they could.

He said: “Jamie came from a very tight, close-knit family who have nothing whatsoever to reproach themselves about.

“The family’s concerns are perfectly proper but to criticise or conclude there has been any failing would not be appropriate.

“The tragedy of Jamie’s loss is the potential he had as an adult, notwithstanding his difficulties in life. I extend to his family my most profound condolences. Your loss is unimaginable.”

A Greater Manchester Police enquiry ruled out third-party involvement or any suspicious circumstances.

Recreational levels of cocaine were found in Jamie’s system when he died, although this had not impaired his thinking.

His family said it was a shock to them to learn he had dabbled in drugs in the last few months of his life as he had always been so keen on sport he did not drink or smoke.

His mother Adele Cullen and sister Nicola Murray afterwards said they hoped others would not suffer in silence.

They said: “There is help out there and there are people to talk to, but there needs to be more follow-up and families need to be more involved.

“Men find it difficult to talk about feelings and Jamie was no different, but even if it’s not family there are friends and people willing to listen.

“Jamie had a lot of friends and had even helped some of them going through problems themselves. He was very loyal. If you made a friend of Jamie you had a friend for life.

“He would want anybody who is struggling or finding it difficult to just come forward and speak to somebody.”

Samaritans is available to help anyone at any time and can be contacted for free on 116 123.