AN UNCLE who killed himself was let down by mental health services, his family have said.

‘Kind and caring’ James Parker, 27, was found hanged by his brother, Ben Parker, at his home in Clitheroe, on April 2.

His brother has paid tribute to a ‘man with a heart of gold’ and said he hopes lessons are learned for the future about mental health care.

He told the Lancashire Telegraph: “Too many people from mental health services were engaging with James and no viable assessments were carried out.

“There were also too many appointments for him to attend and as he had mental health issues, it was hard for him to keep up with them.

“The system has let him down and far too many young men are dying in this way.

“I just hope something will be put in place to try to avoid the same thing happening to other families.”

An inquest in Blackburn heard how Mr Parker had struggled with mental health issues and drinking problems for some time after the deaths of his brother and niece.

His older brother Leroy, 31, died of a drug overdose in September 2017, just ten months after Leroy’s two-year-old daughter, Jazmin Parker, died following a short fight against meningococcal septicaemia in November 2016.

The hearing was told that Mr Parker had been involved with mental health services but had struggled to engage with them.

He had also left suicide notes in the past.

A verdict of suicide was recorded.

His brother Ben said during the inquest: “With all these notes he should have been sectioned, so why wasn’t he?

“The amount of times he’d approached the services, it must have been 30 odd times at least.

“Suicide is the biggest cause of death of young men.

“No one is getting help and it might be there on paper that they are but there’s a lot more that can be done.”

Born in Blackburn, Mr Parker studied catering at Blackburn College and had worked as a chef at several pubs and restaurants.

He attended Brookside Primary School and Ribblesdale High School in Clitheroe.

He was an uncle with four nieces and four nephews.

His brother Ben added: “James was very kind and caring and had a heart of gold.

“He had time for everyone and was very popular and well-liked.”

Jacqueline Walker, of Hyndburn, Ribble Valley and Rossendale home treatment team who Mr Parker was involved with, said he did not meet the criteria for sectioning.

She said: “To be sectioned you have to be presenting a risk to yourselves and others and James wasn’t.

“He was willing to engage with the whole process.

“The home treatment team always tries to keep the number of people involved with treatment to a minimum.

“But the service operates seven days a week and practitioners are not always on duty the day clients want them to pay a visit.”

Karl Turner, a staff psychiatric nurse at the home treatment team, who visited Mr Parker in the run-up to his death, said: “I didn’t leave his flat thinking he had to be sectioned for one second. If I had concerns I would have done it.”

Recording a conclusion of suicide, East Lancashire assistant coroner Richard Taylor, added: “James has done a deliberate act and I have little option but to return a conclusion of suicide.”