The grieving mother of a former RNLI volunteer who took his own life has urged people to seek help if they are struggling with their mental health.

Father-of-two Matthew Thompson, 28, died on January 20 after facing problems including debt.

At his inquest, his mother Karen said he was "one of the most lovely children".

As an adult, he followed his father and grandfather into the RNLI and was well liked by the crew, she said.

She described the thermal insulation engineer as "the life and soul of the party".

His partner Jessica Dalton told the inquest: "He was a kind and loving person. He loved the kids to bits."

But assistant coroner Simon Ward heard he also suffered mental health problems. He and Miss Dalton had been renovating a house, which had cost more than expected.

The inquest heard that Mr Thompson may have had unresolved grief after losing his father and grandfather, and that he been staying with his grandmother before he died.

He was prescribed medication for his mental health around seven months before he died, but had later stopped taking it and had not sought medical help in the run-up to his death.

Mr Ward heard that, the day before he died, Mr Thompson had looked after his son and daughter while Miss Dalton worked until 10pm. After she returned home, he stayed over on the sofa.

Friends and relatives who had spoken to Mr Thompson that day said he gave them no cause for concern. But, when Miss Dalton went downstairs the next morning, she found him in the kitchen of their Holyoake Terrace house with a knife wound to his neck. As paramedics treated him, he told them: "Let me die."

Mr Thompson was taken to the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle, where medics performed emergency surgery and battled to save his life, but the decision was taken later that day to withdraw life support.

Tests showed Mr Thompson had taken a potentially-fatal quantity of paracetamol. Unsent text messages found on his phone indicated he had intended to end his life.

Mr Ward recorded that Mr Thompson had killed himself. He added: "He is a very great loss to his family and his friends and the wider community."

After the hearing, Mrs Thompson said: "He was an absolutely wonderful son, brother and father. We are devastated by his loss but he will forever live on in everybody's hearts.

"I'd urge anybody who is depressed to contact their GP and get the necessary help. The Samaritans are wonderful. Suicide it a permanent solution to a temporary problem. You can recover from depression and mental health problems given the right help."

Mr Thompson's grandmother, Joan Kirkwood-McDowell, described him as "adorable". She added: "He was so ready to help anybody, anywhere, at any time. I'm very proud of his RNLI service, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather.

"We are so grateful for all the support that we had all had."

n You can call Samaritans at any time on 116 123. Calls are free from any phone.