Gas engineer, 28, took his own life when Covid lockdown loneliness plunged him into depression

An ‘upbeat and outgoing’ 28-year-old took hanged himself after coronavirus lockdown loneliness sent him into depression while he was furloughed.

Jamie Mathias, 28, who was a gas engineer, had secured one of his long-term goals and purchased his first home last February.

The ‘funny and charming’ young man from Harlow, Essex, was set to have a good year and said he had everything he needs.

But his mental health took a turn for the worse in March during the first lockdown which led to him taking his own life on December 8.

His heartbroken sister Danielle, 32, is devastated and feels lost without her best friend.

Jamie Mathias (pictured), 28, who was a gas engineer, had secured one of his long-term goals and purchased his first home last February

She said: ‘We did everything together before lockdown.

‘We would go to the cinema, on holiday or out for meals. And if Jamie wasn’t out with me, he was out with friends.

‘He was a social butterfly who loved being around people and making them laugh.

‘It was hard for him to adjust to the ”new normal” and he became really down.

‘He was still living at our parent’s house whilst his house was being built – he was so excited to move in after years of saving.

‘But his mental health deteriorated quickly as he felt trapped – alone with his thoughts.’

His heartbroken sister Danielle (pictured together), 32, is devastated and feels lost without her best friend

His heartbroken sister Danielle (pictured together), 32, is devastated and feels lost without her best friend

The 'funny and charming' young man from Harlow, Essex, was set to have a good year and said he had everything he needs. Left to right: Mr Mathias as a child, father Martin, brother Jack, mother Jean and sister Danielle

The ‘funny and charming’ young man from Harlow, Essex, was set to have a good year and said he had everything he needs. Left to right: Mr Mathias as a child, father Martin, brother Jack, mother Jean and sister Danielle 

The uncertainty of the future caused Jamie to feel anxious and stressed. He began to lose weight but feared it may be an underlying health issue.

He believed he could have something sinister like cancer due to excessive googling.

But his mental health took a turn for the worse in March during the first lockdown which led to him taking his own life on December 8

But his mental health took a turn for the worse in March during the first lockdown which led to him taking his own life on December 8

Danielle said: ‘Jamie opened up to me and told me he is worried about his weight.

‘He never mentioned his mental health, but we soon realised he had bad health anxiety.

‘We did tell him the weight loss is likely down to stress as he was worried about his house and when will lockdown end.

‘But he believed it was something worse.’

Despite getting the all-clear from the doctor, Jamie continued to believe he was ill and sought medical help in December.

There was a two-week wait ahead of an NHS mental health consultation, but Jamie urged for it to be sooner.

The uncle-of-two sadly couldn’t wait and tragically took his own life.

He was found in a field located at the back of his parent’s property during the early evening of December 8.

His final text was to his sister and cousin Sam Nelson, 36, saying ‘I love you always’.

Danielle said: ‘When I received the text, I didn’t think anything of it as he always told me how much he loved me.

He was found in a field located at the back of his parent's property during the early evening of December 8. Pictured: Mr Mathias and his sister Danielle

He was found in a field located at the back of his parent’s property during the early evening of December 8. Pictured: Mr Mathias and his sister Danielle 

‘I told him I loved him too. Shortly after, my parents had a knock on the door at around 6 pm.

‘My heart was broken when I found out.

‘I remember thinking this can’t be happening. He was the happiest person in the world who used to tell me off for worrying too much.’

Jamie still had a pulse and was put on a life support machine for four days.

He was pronounced dead on December 12. His doting family were by his side for every second.

Jamie (back centre with his family) still had a pulse and was put on a life support machine for four days. He was pronounced dead on December 12. His doting family were by his side for every second

Jamie (back centre with his family) still had a pulse and was put on a life support machine for four days. He was pronounced dead on December 12. His doting family were by his side for every second

Danielle said: ‘I was talking to him and playing him music whilst begging him to wake up.

‘I was hoping he would wake up to tell me off for stroking his hair as he hated it when anyone messing with it.

‘On the fourth day, they did a brain stem test and there was no brain activity.

‘My cousins, brother, his fiancée and I didn’t want him to be alone whilst they turned the machine off, so we stayed by his side.

‘Saying goodbye traumatised me, I watched the colour leave his face.. It was frightening.’

Danielle hopes Jamie’s story encourages men and women to reach out to family or helplines if they are struggling with their mental health.

She said: ‘Our family has been torn apart. Jamie was a big kid who loved to hang out with my sons Leighton, 13, and Ronnie, seven.

‘He was always there for them and a great role model. They both idolised their uncle and they are so upset.

‘Ronnie even said he can’t wait to die to see him again which was heart-breaking to hear.

‘I couldn’t save my brother, but I hope his story can save someone else. I urge people to make the call and get help because you’re not a burden.

‘I would rather Jamie spoke to me 24/7 about the same thing rather than experience this pain.

‘The first step to the doctors or telling a friend may be hard but you will feel better knowing someone is looking out for you.’

For confidential support call the Samaritans on 116 123 or visit their website samaritans.org 

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