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Coronavirus: Grieving Brother’s Lockdown Mental Health Plea

May 15, 2020

The brother of a teenage boy who took his own life has appealed for people to seek help if they are struggling with the psychological effects of lockdown.

Chris Mackell’s 17-year-old brother Matthew was found dead in Dunorlan Park in Tunbridge Wells on 7 May.

Mr Mackell said the A-Level student had been worried his grades would be affected by the closure of his school.

He called for “anyone that is feeling any sort of sadness and is dealing with anything” to speak out.

He said his brother had been fearful of his future, “probably because of the lockdown, where, obviously he’s not doing his work to the same quality, maybe, or he felt like he wasn’t in the right mindset to do it at home versus at school.

“He obviously didn’t see a way out of it.”

Ben West, who set up a mental health campaign after his 15-year-old brother Sam took his own life, said the isolating impacts of lockdown on young people should not be underestimated.

“I absolutely have no doubt in my mind that people who are already struggling are struggling much more because of lockdown,” he said.

“People that rely on people in their lives, such as friends that keep them happy, to not be allowed to see them, to have that lack of social connection, can really impact people’s mental health.”

Psychiatrists and psychologists have called for urgent research into the potential for the coronavirus pandemic to have a “profound” effect on people’s mental health.

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