A FAMILY has questioned what support is available for people suffering with depression but who are not considered as having a 'mental illness'.

An inquest at Hereford Town Hall last week heard that Simon Mountjoy, an estate agent with Worcester-based Andrew Grant, was found on land at Wolferlow Farm, Bromyard, on October 26 2015 with a gunshot wound to the head.

He was pronounced dead the following day at Hereford County Hospital.

The inquest heard that Mr Mountjoy, 40, had suffered with depression, having attempted to take his own life on previous occasions.

He was seen by a mental health crisis team on October 1 but Susan Jennings, a social worker who assessed Mr Mountjoy with a colleague at his parents’ address, said they did not consider him to have a mental illness.

She said he had been through a relationship break-up that had caused him to be emotional and said he knew he had a problem with drinking alcohol.

On previous occasions it did not appear he had planned to take his own life, she said, and it had been a spur of the moment decision which he recognised. The appropriate service for him was alcohol recovery and counselling.

Coroner Mark Bricknell pointed out that a suicide risk assessment was unmarked and asked whether there was anything else that should have been done.

She said she stood by her assessment and that Mr Mountjoy's GP could have referred him back to the crisis team had he felt he had deteriorated.

Dr Mark Hayes, a pathologist at Hereford County Hospital, said there was no underlying illness and Mr Mountjoy had died from a firearm injury.

Tests showed he had both alcohol in his blood and a therapeutic level of an anti-depressant drug.

Speaking at the inquest, Mr Mountjoy's family stated that he was not ‘a drinker’ and held down a very responsible job.

They said there was no help available for people like their son and called for the situation to be looked at in a serious manner.

Summing up, Coroner Mark Bricknell recorded Mr Mountjoy died from a firearm injury to the head.

He said Mr Mountjoy drank to excess on occasions and that appeared to have emphasised or brought into 'sharp focus' his depressive tendencies.

He added that he accepted there was apparently limited support available to somebody identified as not having a mental illness but suffering from a degree of depression.

He concluded that Mr Mountjoy took his own life.