Tributes paid to ‘life of the party’, man aged 25 who ‘took his own life in Covid isolation’

Truly heartbreaking, Joshua Morgan – whilst self-isolating with a mild case of COVID.

He wasn’t the first and won’t be last, condolences to Joshua’s family. There is a gofundme link at the bottom of the post, if you are able to donate then please help out.

Full post from mylondon.news site below…

The family of a Croydon man who is believed to have taken his own life while self-isolating with coronavirus have spoken out about the impact of lockdown and Covid isolation on mental health.

Joshua Morgan, 25, from Purley, died on Monday, February 8 after struggling during a period of self-isolation with Covid-19.

Josh’s cousin, Claudine Arthurs, said he thought it best to isolate almost entirely in his bedroom while he had a ‘mild’ case of Covid.

His mum, who he lived with, is in the vulnerable category so he did not want to put her at risk by coming into contact while he was isolating.

Claudine told MyLondon on behalf of the family: “Josh was really just alone in his room.

“He was doing okay for the first few days, laughing and talking with his friends, and then we talked to my aunt [his mother] and she said that Josh was feeling a bit down.

“It wasn’t really characteristic of him. They had arranged for him to speak with a mental health professional, but that evening he is believed to have taken his own life at home.”

Claudine described Josh, who had just completed a Masters degree at UCL in Chemical Engineering, as a “handsome, smart, well-loved young man.”

She said: “We know that he was struggling with finding a job, which is understandable in the midst of the pandemic.

“We knew he would maybe be a bit down about that, but we can’t help but think that if it wasn’t for Covid, if he wasn’t basically locked up in his room, perhaps he wouldn’t have taken this course of action.

“We are all just gutted.”

Claudine explained that after she’d spoken to Josh’s mum that Monday about how he was feeling down, she had planned to help him reach out for support on Tuesday morning.

She lives in Portugal, so could not be there in person to support Josh, but wanted to “take him by the hand and help him” the best she could.

“But it was too late,” she said.

“It’s coming up more and more that this is happening to young people, that they’re losing all hope with job prospects, and the social upheaval that’s happening, and the pandemic.

“It just seems a shame.”

Josh’s friends have described him as “always smiling, he lit up the room, a life of the party kind of guy,” Claudine said.

“His sister said to me that Covid was the straw that broke the camel’s back, it took him over the edge in just a few days, it seems like.”

Claudine said she wishes she’d been able to tell her cousin to hold on for “just one more day.”

“Anybody going through this, just give it one more day and things tend to turn around,” she said.

“He would have got the help, people would have rallied around him, if we had known.

“I don’t know if it’s a Caribbean thing, but there are many, many layers to this. There are taboos [around mental health].”

Josh’s death is a huge loss to his family, and Claudine said his mother is devastated and cannot return to her home, his place of death, as it is filled with tragedy.

Claudine has set up a GoFundMe fundraiser in his memory, to help pay for the funeral costs and to help Josh’s mum with alternative accommodation in her grief.

So far, they have raised over £25,000 of their £30,000 target thanks to the kindness of friends, family and strangers.

In a plea to others struggling, Claudine said: “If anybody doesn’t see hope, reach out to people. Friends will be there, even the authorities if you think it’s necessary.

“There is a lot of support out there. But in this case it wasn’t enough.”

A date for the inquest into Josh’s death is yet to be set.