"DON'T suffer in silence" - is the desperate plea from the mother of a 23-year-old dad-to-be who has taken his own life.
Dan Myers, from York, died just days after telling his mum Di Dowker that he was expecting his first child with girlfriend Celine Lea.
Following his funeral last week in York, Di fought back tears to tell how Dan had suffered from depression and how his death would leave a "massive, massive void" in all their lives.
Di, of Heworth, said: "He took his own life. He had been battling demons for a long time."
She said her son often hid his low mood behind a smile. "When he was depressed or unhappy he didn't want other people to feel down and would do his best to put a smile on their face - he was the class clown."
And she urged anyone struggling with their mental health to reach out for help.
She said: "Men find it more difficult to talk - I don't know if they see it as a sign of weakness - but you can't help having mental health issues. If your arm was in a sling, friends would say; 'anything I can do?'. But they can't see what's wrong with you when you suffer from depression - don't suffer in silence."
She added: "Reaching out is not a sign of weakness. Once you have taken your own life you can't turn back the clock. It's gone."
Di paid tribute to her son, who was a former pupil of Park Grove primary and Joseph Rowntree secondary schools in York.
Dan had a twin brother, Oli, and an older brother Ryan. He lived with Celine and her son Marley at the time of his death.
She said he loved music and was very close to his family.
Dan, who was not working at the time of his death, had previously been employed at Londis in Haxby Road, and had also worked at the Grand Hotel in York and at Salvation.
At his funeral at York Crematorium, York celebrant Fiona Brown, read out a loving tribute from Celine who described Dan as " the best step dad to Marley" and how she treasured the memories of them "all snuggled up together on the balcony watching the stars twinkle".
Di said she would now be supporting Celine through her pregnancy, including attending her next scan. Di said the unborn child was "a blessing in a way" adding "a part of Dan will go on."
Dan's funeral was held at York Crematorium on Monday April 12. The ceremony was conducted by Hayley Owen and led by celebrant Fiona Brown of Your Ceremony.
Samaritans - can be contacted online via www.samaritans.org or by telephone on 116 123 free from any phone
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