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'He was a lovely soul' - family's heartfelt tribute to teenager who struggled in silence with mental ill health

PUBLISHED: 09:06 16 July 2019 | UPDATED: 11:24 16 July 2019

Joe Hewett-Emmett. Photo: submitted by Finn Doherty

Joe Hewett-Emmett. Photo: submitted by Finn Doherty

submitted by Finn Doherty

The family of a "sensitive and loving" teenager who took his own life after struggling in silence with mental ill health for two years have urged others to speak out about their problems.

Relatives of Joseph Hewett-Emmett have raised almost £10,000 in his memory since he died at his home in Station Road, Beccles on November 27, which they hope will be put to good use helping others with mental health problems.

An inquest on Monday, attended by his mother Louise Bell and his sisters Anna Hewett-Emmett and Kimberley Shepherd, heard he had only revealed to his family he was suffering mental health problems two months before his death.

They immediately sought private mental health care, where he revealed to his psychologist he had been in a low mood for two years.

Following the hearing, his sister Anna said the family wanted to raise awareness about mental health in young men, saying they often suffer in silence.

She said her brother did not know how to be open about how he was feeling and never wanted to be a burden to people.

She said: "For young boys and men it can be difficult to know how they are feeling.

"Joe was a proud and private person and saw it as a weakness.

"It had got to a crisis point by the time he told us he was struggling - it was something he felt he could not speak to us about."

His mother described him as a "really nice guy",

"Joe was very intelligent," she said. "Really witty with a very dry sense of humour.

"He was really attractive, a really good looking boy, but he didn't know it.

"He was sensitive and loving. He loved music, he loved books and he was also into politics.

"Joe was a Game of Thrones fan and a big gamer, he loved gaming with his friends.

"He was always very passionate about the underdog. At one point he said he wanted to be a human rights lawyer.

"Although he was quite shy he had a really tight-knit group of friends.

"He was a lovely soul.

"He was just a really nice guy. We miss him terribly."

Friends and family are now researching which charity or organisation would best use the money they have raised in his memory.

Dr Dan Sharpstone, assistant coroner for Suffolk, said the cause of death was hanging, concluding that Mr Hewett-Emmett had intended to take his life.

Joe was a former student of Notre Dame Catholic Sixth Form College in Norwich

In April three of his friends - Finn Doherty, K.M.B and Sadie Nencini - arranged a gig in his memory at the Karma Café in the city.

The money they raised was added to his family's fundraising campaign 'Joe's Crusade'.

■ Need to talk? Call The Samaritans on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org

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