Great Britain

Dad, 55, left suicide note saying ‘Covid got me’ before drowning himself as his business struggled during pandemic

The Sun

'HIDDEN VICTIM'

A DAD left a heartbreaking suicide note saying "Covid got me," before drowning himself as his business struggled during the pandemic.

Financial adviser Nick Gunnell, 55, became a "hidden victim" of the virus when he tragically killed himself in York on June 30.

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The much-loved family man left a message for his family expressing his regret and apologising - without saying what he planned to do - said Assistant Coroner John Broadbridge at the inquest.

It included the words "Covid-19 got me."

The Covid lockdown had caused his financial advice business problems - and he had been suffering from anxiety and had trouble sleeping, the coroner said.

Mr Gunnell was last seen on CCTV going down to a riverside shortly after 1pm on June 30.

After a six-day police and public search, a kayaker found his body in the river 150 metres upstream from the bridge.

A post mortem concluded that the financial adviser from York, had drowned, and Mr Broadbridge recorded a finding of suicide.

The inquest heard that before coronavirus, Mr Gunnell had told his wife that 2020 was going to be "their year."

He was preparing to sell his financial advice business and they were planning a tour of the Greek islands.

YOU'RE NOT ALONE

EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide.

It doesn't discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society - from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.

It's the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.

And men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.

Yet it's rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.

That is why The Sun launched the You're Not Alone campaign.

The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.

Let's all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others... You're Not Alone.

If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:

But coronavirus travel restrictions meant the holiday didn’t go ahead, the lockdown hit his business and the deal fell through, the coroner said.

Mr Gunnell's brother Jez said after the inquest: “Nick Gunnell lived life to the full and was an amazing husband, father, stepfather, brother, uncle and a great friend to many.

“He is greatly missed by us all and we are all aware that Nick is a hidden victim of Covid-19 - one of many that have lost their precious lives or are suffering as a result of this devastating disease, that are not on any Government statistics.

“Nick was clearly very disturbed by the onset of Covid.

"Apart from the oppressive media blitz, being under lockdown and deprived of his social life, Covid caused Nick enormous problems for the business that he had developed for 30 years.

“However, despite the evidence that he planned to take his own life, we will never be sure he did not end up falling into the river in his condition rather than actually ending his life on purpose.”

Evidence read to the inquest said Mr Gunnell had drunk alcohol and taken medicine before he died.

He had talked with his doctor the day before his death and been prescribed medicine for anxiety and sleeping problems.

The doctor’s notes said he did not sound suicidal, the inquest heard.

Contact the Samaritans

If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article contact The Samaritans on 116 123. They are available for free at anytime.

Or email https://www.samaritans.org/

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