Norton man found hanged had history of mental health problems

First published in News

A NORTON man with a history of mental health problems killed himself, an inquest heard.

Christopher James Long, aged 34, of The Broadway, hanged himself at his home on November 20, 2011.

The inquest, held at Dudley Coroners Court on Monday, was told that Mr Long suffered from schizoaffective disorder.

Dr Mohammed Iqbal said Mr Long would suffer from psychotic symptoms, similar to schizophrenia and his behaviour was sometimes disturbed or aggressive and his mood often low.

He added: "He was a very nice man and very gentle when not displaying psychotic symptoms but when he was, he came across as a completely different person."

Mr Long, who was unemployed, had been admitted to hospital on several occasions for treatment but at the time of his death he was being treated with a combination of anti-psychotics and anti-depressants and receiving support at home.

Mandy Shinton, from the Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust, told the inquest she visited Mr Long on a weekly basis.

She said after he told her that he had lost his confidence to leave his flat, she arranged for someone to see him on a weekly basis to take him out.

But when she didn't see an improvement, she arranged for Creative Support, a floating support service, to visit him twice a week to motivate him to tidy his flat and to further encourage him to go out.

She said the last time she saw him was at his outpatients appointment a few days before his death and said: "His mood was a little bit low."

The inquest heard that Mr Long's mother had called the police as she was unable to contact her son and his door was locked from the inside.

When officers forced entry, Mr Long was found hanging in the bathroom.

Black Country coroner Robin Balmain, said: "This is a tragedy for the family. Mr Long had suffered with a psychological illness for some time and had been receiving treatment for a number of years, including in-patient treatment.

"Mr Long had very careful involvement from mental health professionals.

Mr Balmain concluded that Mr Long had killed himself by hanging.

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