A woman took her own life after she was made redundant from her much-loved job and struggled to cope with lockdown isolation, her husband said.
Sarah Jones, 54, didn’t struggle with any mental health problems before the Covid-19 pandemic, according to her husband Howard Jones, 77.
But she was deeply affected by not being able to see friends and family – including her work colleagues – when she was furloughed in March last year, he said.
Father-of-two Howard said being made redundant further impacted her mental health and she was diagnosed with depression, and died at their home on January 20.
Devastated Howard said Sarah, an admin worker, felt she had “everything taken away from her” by the pandemic.
He said he blames nobody for his wife’s death – and wants to speak out simply to encourage others who are suffering to confide in their loved ones.
Retired printer Howard, from Wigston, Leicestershire, said: “Sarah was so social.
“She had many friends and she loved her job.
“It devastated her not being able to see her friends and family because of the lockdown, and then being made redundant as well was too much for her.
“She felt like everything had been taken away from her, and that snowballed into depression with a tragic ending.
“Sarah was loved by everyone – she was so caring and would never say a bad word about anyone.
“She was a wonderful wife and she was my rock. Her death has completely destroyed me.
“I knew she was struggling but I never thought it would come to this.
“The pandemic has cost me my wife and my life.”
Howard and Sarah met in a pub 20 years ago after he was drawn to her “lovely smile and bubbly personality”.
They married in 2005 – and he said she had always had a great relationship with his children, Nicola and Chris Jones, now 40 and 38, and his grandchildren.
He said Sarah had lots of friends – including many of her colleagues at the insurance brokers where she worked as an administrator for 20 years.
He said she’d struggled with not seeing her work friends after she was furloughed last March – but hoped she could soon return to her much-loved job.
But she was made redundant in November, which Howard said, coupled with being isolated in lockdown, caused her to spiral into depression.
He said: “It was the combination of being in lockdown and then losing her job and her income.
“She had been such a happy person and she felt everything had been taken away from her all at once.”
Howard told of the devastating moment he walked upstairs on January 20 to find Sarah had ended her life.
He thought she’d gone upstairs for a nap.
She had been recently diagnosed with depression, and was taking mediation, but had “shown no signs of wanting to harm herself”, he said.
He said: “Her death was a tragedy we never expected, but we have no choice but to face what’s happened.
“I am completely heart-broken but I have so many fantastic memories of her and I want to hold on to those.
“I don’t blame anyone, but it goes to show how much damage this pandemic can have on people’s mental health.”