Se­cret anx­i­ety of ‘fit’ ath­lete

Glamorgan Gazette - - Front Page - WALES NEWS SER­VICE news­desk@waleson­line.co.uk

A SUPERFIT young ath­lete who loved run­ning bare­foot on the beach killed him­self after se­cretly strug­gling with anx­i­ety, an in­quest heard.

Jack Couch, 23, was de­scribed as “al­ways smil­ing”.

A SUPERFIT young ath­lete who loved run­ning bare­foot on the beach killed him­self after se­cretly strug­gling with anx­i­ety, an in­quest heard.

Jack Couch, 23, was de­scribed as “al­ways smil­ing” - and just days ear­lier he had told work­mates: “I’m fine.”

An in­quest heard the tal­ented run­ner had been suf­fer­ing with anx­i­ety at­tacks and had vis­ited medics for help be­fore be­ing trag­i­cally found dead in a woodland.

The hear­ing was told Jack was tak­ing pre­scrip­tions for his anx­i­ety and low mood.

Friend Sara Thomas said Jack had con­fided in her that he he had told his GP and cri­sis teams that he had sui­ci­dal thoughts.

She said: “Jack said the thoughts were over­whelm­ing but he didn’t want to die.”

The in­quest heard Jack stopped pick­ing up his pre­scrip­tion in May and was not seen again by medics.

Car sales­man Jack was found hanged in the woods in Ken­fig Hill, Brid­gend, the fol­low­ing month.

His col­league Tyler Wells said he no­ticed a change in Jack’s be­hav­iour be­fore his death.

In a state­ment, Mr Wells said: “Lead­ing up to his sui­cide I saw a dif­fer­ence in Jack.

“He seemed to be­come quite ob­sessed with his ap­pear­ance.”

Mr Wells said he last saw Jack, of New­ton, Porth­cawl, as they were leav­ing a shift on June 28.

He said: “I re­call ask­ing him ‘Are you ok?’ and Jack replied ‘ Yep, I’m fine’.”

The hear­ing was told that de­spite be­ing re­ferred to a cri­sis team by his GP, Jack was not deemed “de­tain­able” at the time of his as­sess­ment in May.

Tox­i­col­ogy re­ports found no al­co­hol in Jack’s sys­tem and only ther­a­peu­tic lev­els of his pre­scrip­tion med­i­ca­tion.

His med­i­cal cause of death was hang­ing.

Jack was a mem­ber of Cor­nelly Strid­ers ath­letic club in Brid­gend and wore his dad’s run­ning vest from the 80s.

After his death, Club chair­woman Joanne Ed­wards said: “He al­ways sup­ported oth­ers in their train­ing whether they were old or young.

“He even of­fered to teach me how to swim rather than spend money on les­sons.

“He was a re­ally good teacher to every­one and we al­ways told him that is what he should do in life, as he had so much pa­tience.

“He loved run­ning bare foot on the beach and had an in­fec­tious smile.

“He lifted up the lives of every­body around them and a had a real im­pact on every­one.

“He would go out of his way for every­one. He was so tal­ented.”

His for­mer head­teacher Clare Crook said: “Jack was al­ways smil­ing.

“He was well man­nered, im­pec­ca­bly dressed, lots of fun and very car­ing.

“He al­ways took time out to say ‘Hello’ and ask about oth­ers.

“This con­tin­ued when you would see him after he fin­ished his stud­ies.

“Jack sim­ply brought much joy to every­one around him – a truly won­der­ful young man.”

Coro­ner Graeme Hughes recorded a con­clu­sion of sui­cide at the in­quest in Pon­typridd.

He said: “It seems to me fairly clear on the ev­i­dence that Jack for­mu­lated an in­ten­tion and a plan to take his own life.”

Speak­ing after the hear­ing, Jack’s mum In­dia Dolan said: “Jack was a much loved son, brother, un­cle and fam­ily mem­ber who is missed and trea­sured by us all ev­ery day.

“We want to thank every­one who has sup­ported us at this time.”

For con­fi­den­tial sup­port the Sa­mar­i­tans can be con­tacted for free around the clock 365 days a year on 116 123.

Jack Couch was de­scribed as ‘al­ways smil­ing’ and loved run­ning bare­foot on the beach

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