THE father of a York teenager who took his own life says he is heartened that lessons look to have been learned from his son’s tragedy.

Tristan Powell was 17 when he hanged himself in the early hours of August 26 last year, following a battle with depression and despite working with mental health services.

An inquest yesterday at York Register Office heard the teenager had “a great sense of humour and a great sense of love”.

His father, Kevin Powell, told the inquest that Tristan, who was a former pupil of All Saints’ RC School, was “a really loving boy, almost like he was old before his time”, but had some organisational issues at school and home.

Mr Powell said: “One of the things that worried him most was he didn’t feel he had prospects, didn’t feel he was going anywhere.

“He would try to pull himself together, went for job interviews and things like that, but he was really worried he was being left behind. He felt he had no prospects and mentioned he was losing his friends, when nothing was further from the truth.”

Speaking after the hearing, Mr Powell said: “There are a number of things that in my view could have been done a lot better within the NHS. However, their reaction to it in undertaking an investigation, involving the family in it, and putting in some far-reaching corrective actions has been quite heartening.”

The inquest heard Tristan had a history of self harm, and had been treated at York Hospital A&E on a number of occasions, which led to him being referred to Lime Trees – a mental health service for under-18s in York.

The inquest heard Tristan was not referred to an early-referral mental health team on his first visit to A&E in July, as doctors felt he was still being assessed to determine what action was needed.

A referral was eventually made in early August and Tristan’s mood appeared to be improving, the inquest heard, but his mother Pia-Mari found him in the garage of their Middlethorpe Grove home in the early hours of August 26.

Despite efforts by his parents, police and paramedics, he was pronounced dead at York Hospital.

Mrs Powell told the hearing: “Especially in the last week and a half or so, we got the old smiling Tristan beginning to come back, with a great sense of humour and a great sense of love. You don’t think a person so full of life and love can even contemplate that. I think if you have never felt that way yourself, it’s quite incomprehensible that someone can take their own life.

“It was a shock to me how bad it went all of a sudden. Tristan was making plans in May and June and looking at prospectuses and planning what to do in the autumn. But he was very good at hiding what he felt and writing about it instead.”

Coroner Jonathan Leach returned a conclusion of suicide.

Speaking after the inquest, Tristan’s parents thanked their friends and family, and Tristan’s friends for their support.

* Anyone with concerns about depression can phone PAPYRUS’ HOPELineUK on 0800 0684141, or go to