A STUDENT who was “overwhelmed by lockdown” took his own life because he struggled mentally when he wasn’t on the go.

Ben Brown, 22, from Gloucester, wrote a note to his mum explaining he was struggling during the coronavirus lockdown before taking his life at university.

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His mum Helen Hartery-Brown now wants people to reach out for help after she tragically lost her son in the early hours on Monday morning.

Ben’s family was unaware he was finding life so tough during the lockdown period at the University of Loughborough.

They only realised he was struggling when they read a letter he penned at university.

She spoke to him the night before he took his own life and his last words to her were: "I love you too mum."

Helen, 54, told Gloucestershire Live: “He was on lockdown in Loughborough with two of his house mates from university.

The lockdown had a massive impact on him.

“We video called him at 6pm the night before he took his life.

“My last words to him were, ‘I love you millions.’ His last words to me were, ‘I love you too mum’.”

Helen added: “The lockdown had a massive impact on him. Ben had not spoken to anyone about how he was feeling. He found it all too overwhelming.

“He said in the letter to me he had thoughts when he was at rest and that is why he was a million miles an hour.

“He was busy all the time because he did not want to be alone with his thoughts.”

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:

  • CALM, www.thecalmzone.net, 0800 585 858
  • Heads Together,www.headstogether.org.uk
  • Mind, www.mind.org.uk, 0300 123 3393
  • Papyrus, www.papyrus-uk.org, 0800 068 41 41
  • Samaritans,www.samaritans.org, 116 123
  • Movember,www.uk.movember.com

Helen now wants people to tell their friends and loved ones how they are feeling and know they are not alone.

She added: “I really do not want another family to go through this.”

Her son was studying architectural engineering and was due to being officer training with the army in September.

Helen said: “He was always so busy and packed a lot into his short life.

“Ben was an intelligent and loving man who left a lasting impression with many people.

“My son lived life to the full. He took himself off travelling to Thailand and Vietnam and even went to Madagascar where he volunteered with building projects there.

“I am so proud of him and all that he achieved. He had the whole summer planned before the lockdown.”

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