21-year-old who sought mental health help died during Covid isolation

Norfolk Coroner's Court, at County Hall in Norwich.

Norfolk Coroner's Court, at County Hall in Norwich. - Credit: Stuart Anderson

A young man who had sought help for his mental health was found dead while isolating with Covid-19, an inquest heard.

The family of Quinton Ford, 21, had called emergency services after concerns they had not been able to contact him.

Police discovered Mr Ford, a travel agent, at his home in Bridewell Street, Wymondham, on January 31 this year. The cause of death was hanging.

An inquest at Norwich Coroners Court heard how, almost a year before his death, Mr Ford sought help because of concerns about his mental health.

In April 2021, Mr Ford told his GP he was having suicidal thoughts. He was referred to the Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust.

Velta Williams, a senior health practitioner for the mental health trust, said in a statement that Mr Ford was concerned about moving out of the home he shared with his father.

Mr Ford moved into his own home but during a series of telephone consultations with health professionals he talked about feelings of depression and anxiety. He said he started self-harming at 14 years old.

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Mr Ford spoke of feeling paranoid, hearing voices and believing he was being watched and listened to.

Katy Binder, an assistant practitioner at the mental health trust, told the inquest one of her calls to Mr Ford followed an incident in December last year, when his girlfriend had made an emergency call that he was trying to end his life.

When Ms Binder spoke to him on January 19 this year, Mr Ford said he was feeling a lot better, but that his relationship had broken down and he was having to isolate after testing positive for Covid-19.

His body was found later that month. Toxicology reports found no trace of drugs and Mr Ford was not intoxicated by alcohol. He left two notes, the inquest heard.

Norfolk area coroner Yvonne Blake said Mr Ford had hanged himself, but, given the state of his mental health, she could not be certain he intended suicide.

She said: "It would be more appropriate to state that Quinton took his own life, but there was evidence that his mental health had deteriorated prior to that."

In a statement read at the inquest, his father Andrew said: "This has come as a total shock to me and has left me heartbroken."

If you need help and support, call NHS 111 and select option 2 or the Samaritans on 116 123. Both services are available 24 hours, seven days a week. You can also download the Stay Alive app on Apple & Android.