A young man who had suffered for many years with his mental health died in hospital four days after trying to take his own life.
Cameron Hartley Ridge had made several attempts on his own life since 2017, and was well-known to the mental health and crisis teams, and had only recently been discharged from their care in the weeks leading up to his death on December 10 last year.
At an inquest at Accrington Town Hall, Coroner Mark Williams said Cameron had had “incredible support from his family”, with the mental health teams doing “what was in accordance with their procedures” to help the 23-year-old.
He told the hearing: “He had incredible support from his family. What was put in place to try and prevent this, I don’t think they could have done any more.
“You were doing everything that you could but for whatever reason he did try to take his own life.
“This is a tragic incident of a young man who decided to take his own life despite the support he had.
“I accept that at the time what the mental health team did was in accordance with their procedures.”
The inquest heard that Cameron, of Greenacres, Read, Burnley, had suffered from a very young age with worry and anxiety, brought on by feelings of abandonment after his real father left when he was very small.
He had been prescribed anti-psychotic medication and was being seen by a care co-ordinator who was assigned to him in March last year, after he went missing from home and was subsequently hospitalised and diagnosed with borderline personality disorder.
A statement from his mother, Deborah Ridge, said the mental health team had discharged him in November 2021 after an assessment found his mental health to be stabilising.
It was heard though that Cameron, who had two jobs as a barman and personal trainer, had stopped taking his medication some months before his death as he believed they were making him feel worse, and he appeared to be doing ok without them.
Mr Williams said: “However, he went out on the night of December 2 with some colleagues but was brought home by a friend who was concerned about him.
“The crisis team were called, and he was seen by a mental health nurse at 6am on December 3.
“He explained to the nurse that for the last couple of weeks he was finding things difficult and was struggling to control the voices in his head.
“He went home and was then called by the crisis team later that afternoon as a follow up.
“Cameron then went to work, but his mum received a call from a colleague around 4.30pm to say he wasn’t coping well and he was picked up.
“On December 5, he had a conversation with the crisis team again, and after that his mum said he seemed very upbeat and at peace, which was out of character for him.”
The inquest was told he went to meet his friend in Clitheroe later that day and came home around 11pm, but his mother later found Cameron downstairs, distressed, with superficial cuts to his arms.
The crisis team were called again on Monday 6, with Cameron not wanting to speak with anyone but staying home most of the day to try and sleep.
He was told a medical review would be carried out on December 10 and a mental health practitioner was sent out to his home that day, where it was noted he was still having suicidal thoughts but had no desire to harm himself.
During the course of that same day, Mr Williams said Cameron has sent his girlfriend, Rebecca Gibson some messages asking her to come round.
They had been going through a rocky patch and it was believed Cameron had been scared of losing her.
One of the messages read, “You have 4pm until this is over.”
When Rebecca explained she wouldn’t be able to make it until later, Cameron sent a text back saying, “You have until 9pm until this is done”.
Mr Williams said: “Rebecca was late in getting to Cameron’s house because of traffic and she was let in by his dad, Paul. She made her way to Cameron’s bedroom and found him hanging.
“An ambulance was called, and CPR was carried out and he was taken to Royal Blackburn Hospital.”
Mr Williams said when Cameron was feeling like this his family would try everything they could to take things away from his room to stop him from harming himself.
Cameron was admitted to Royal Blackburn Hospital but sadly died four days later on December 10.
A medical cause of death of hypoxic brain injury and asphyxia was offered, with Mr Williams recording a conclusion of suicide.
If you or anyone you know are suffering with their mental health, the Samaritans can be called, free, on 116 123.