‘Colourful’ Crookhorn character Daniel Furniss took his own life last week after feeling isolated being at home alone amid the national crisis.
The 34-year-old, who went to Cowplain Community School and South Downs College, would ‘go out every day’ but was forced to self-isolate after being classed as a high-risk person due to his diabetes.
Following his struggles with the enforced quarantine, Dan’s sister Chelsea said he posted a message on social media saying: ‘There is not enough guidance for people with mental health issues.’
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Speaking of the family’s loss, Chelsea, 28, told The News: ‘Dan had a long history of mental health issues and one of the things he struggled with was being on his own.
‘He lived on his own but would go out every day. Dan had diabetes and was classed as a high risk person so after lockdown he was unable to go out which we think pushed him over the edge.
‘We were concerned about him being in isolation and stayed in touch but were not able to see him. We tried our best and let him know we were there for him.
‘More could be done to help people who are struggling while self-isolating. Hopefully what’s happened with Dan can raise awareness of these issues.’
Chelsea said people will remember her brother for his warmth and exuberance. She said: ‘He would always dress very bright and colourful - you couldn’t miss him.
‘Dan brought a lot of joy to everyone’s lives. Although he was aged 34 he was just a big kid at heart. He would go out and play Pokemon Go at the park with his friends and brother and play against other teams.’
A Go Fund Me page has been set up to help pay for funeral costs - with over £1,600 raised in just two days.
‘We are completely overwhelmed and touched by people’s generosity especially at a time of such difficulties,’ Chelsea said.
Dan suffered with bipolar disorder since his teenage years before coming out as gay when he was 19 and was unable to work because of his mental health condition.
Only Dan’s parents and four siblings will be able to attend the funeral because of restrictions due to the lockdown. ‘Daniel was loved and adored by so many people and it is unfortunate that at this time due to Covid-19 that only a few of us will be able to attend the funeral,’ Chelsea added.
Advice from the Samaritans, published on its website, states: ‘It’s normal (self-isolation) will affect your mood, and it’s something we’d really encourage you to talk about, however you can, via video messaging, over the phone, texting or over the garden fence.
‘Whilst we are physically isolated, it’s more important than ever for us to feel socially connected, so try and reach out to people to talk, and try to be there to listen to others.’
Call 116 123 free to speak with the Samaritans.
To make a funeral donation go to: gofundme.com/f/byk5sf-dan039s-funeral