An outgoing man with bipolar disorder committed suicide in isolation after loneliness “pushed him to the limit”.
Daniel Furniss, 34, lived alone in Crookhorn, near Portsmouth, and stayed indoors because his diabetes made him particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus.
But the outgoing “big child” who was “a joy for everyone” struggled with the lack of contact and unfortunately committed suicide, according to his distraught family.
Sister Chelsea Furniss, 28, is now calling on health officials to urgently increase support for people with mental health issues during the lockout.
Daniel Furniss, 34, lived alone in Crookhorn, near Portsmouth, and stayed indoors because his diabetes made him particularly vulnerable to coronavirus
Sister Chelsea Furniss (left), 28, now calls on health officials to urgently increase support for people with mental health issues during the lockout
Remembering fondly her brother, who was “loved and adored by so many people,” she said: “He always dressed very bright and colorful – you couldn’t miss it.
“Dan has brought a lot of joy to everyone’s life. Although he was 34 years old, he was just a big kid at heart.
But she said her brother, who has struggled with bipolar disorder since he was a teenager, has battled loneliness during the lockdown, despite his family’s best efforts to stay in touch.
Miss Furniss added, “Dan had a long history of mental health issues and one of the things he struggled with was being alone.
“He lived alone but went out every day. Dan had diabetes and was classified as a high risk person, so after the lockout he couldn’t get out, which we think pushed him to the limit.
The outgoing “big child” who was a “joy for everyone” fought against the lack of contact and unfortunately committed suicide, according to his distraught family
“We feared he was isolated and stayed in touch, but we couldn’t see him.
“There is not enough advice for people with mental health issues.
“We could do more to help people who are struggling while isolating themselves. I hope that what happened with Dan can raise awareness of these issues.
Furniss also said her family was “completely overwhelmed and touched by the generosity of people, particularly at a time of such hardship”, after a GoFundMe raised nearly £ 2,000 for her funeral.
However, only his parents and four siblings will be able to attend the funeral due to the restrictions due to the lock.
A source from the Ministry of Health highlighted their advice to help the mental health of people during isolation.
This includes talking to family and friends on social media, exercising regularly and using the NHS helpline.
For confidential support, call the Samaritans at 116123 or visit a local Samaritan branch. See www.samaritans.org for more details