'He never spoke about his own pain' - Father-of-four who took his own life was ashamed of mental health struggles
PUBLISHED: 16:47 19 March 2019 | UPDATED: 09:04 20 March 2019
A mother has paid tribute to her “kind, loving husband” who took his own life.
Neil ‘Nobby’ Davis, 48, from Attleborough, died in woodland near Crowshall Lane, Attleborough, on Wednesday, February 27, a day after being reported missing by his wife Tina Davis.
Mrs Davis said she knew her husband had been battling mental health issues but that his death had come as a shock to her and his four children.
She said: “You never think someone is going to take their own life, it’s a split second decision and you can’t see what’s going on in people’s heads.
“He was a kind man with a loving heart and would always take time to speak to Big Issue sellers. He would listen to anyone’s problems but sadly he never spoke about his own pain.”
The inquest into the Attleborough carer’s death opened on March 6 and established his cause of death as hanging.
Mrs Davis said her husband had been in touch with local charity Mind but that stigma surrounding men’s mental health stood in the way of his recovery.
She said: “Guys go to the pub and drink with their mates but they don’t talk about their suicidal thoughts. They’re too proud or they worry that struggling with mental health makes them a failure.
“People need to be kind to each other and reach out when they see people struggling, especially on social media because often the things people write on Facebook are real feelings.”
Mr Davis’ wife said she hoped speaking openly about her family’s experience would encourage others to seek help.
The Attleborough mother said their 12-year-old son was receiving support from local charity Nelson’s Journey and that she was proud of his strength, maturity and hope but added: “That split second decision to take your own life leaves behind heart ache and heartbreak that is impossible to put into words.”
Mr Davis was a big Manchester United fan and after retiring as a striker for local teams in East Harling, Shropham and Great Hockham, enjoyed regular friendly kick abouts at Carrow Road.
He also loved music and Mrs Davis said the couple spent many nights watching live bands at the UEA and Waterfront.
She said: “Music lives on forever and there’s so many that remind me of him. Music will be a big part of his funeral and his favourite song, Smells like Teen Spirit, will accompany his final send off.”
Neil Davis’ funeral will be held at St Mary’s Church, Attleborough, at 2pm on Thursday March 21.
The family said anyone wishing to pay their respects to were welcome at the ceremony and requested that instead of contributing flowers, people donated to his memorial fundraiser for St Martin’s Housing Trust.