Dad-of-two Anil Carbon, 30, served his country for eight years.
By Anna Riley. Photo Myshelle Carbon
A north Hull Army veteran who was discharged from the forces on health grounds tragically took his own life after finding it hard adjust to civilian life.
Dad-of-two Anil Carbon, 30, served for his country for eight years, including a tour of Afghanistan in 2010 but struggled with post traumatic stress after leaving the Army because of problems with his feet.
Tragically, Dominican-born Mr Carbon attempted suicide on two previous occasions before he sadly hung himself on February 9, 2019, in the family home.
Mr Carbon was taking anti-depressants and receiving counselling for his depression but his devastated family feel like more should have been done to stop him from taking his life and are speaking out in the hope his death will serve to help others.
Mr Carbon’s grieving wife of 11 years Myshelle said: “Anil was a great dad and great husband, always putting everyone’s needs before his own. He was one of a kind and people knew him by his big teeth and big smile.
“Lots of friends and family didn’t know what was going on with him and what he was going through as he didn’t want to burden people. His life was one of service to Queen and country and to family, but unfortunately when he left the Army, not enough support was put in place for him to move back in to civilian life.
“I feel like the mental health teams and counsellors that Anil was accessing should have listened to the family more, as I rang them so many times to say how suicidal he was feeling but they didn’t feel it was enough to step in the day before he took his own life.
“People with mental health issues hide how they truly feel and it should be the job of professionals to get them to open up so they can get better. Anil had two previous suicide attempts and the day before he died, he said he didn’t want to be here anymore but it wasn’t enough to be sectioned.
“It’s too little, too late with the care that was provided to Anil but if his death can raise awareness to help somebody else to change their lives for the better, then that’s what we hope for.
‘Thank you for your service’
These sentiments were echoed by Anil’s cousin Victor Carbon, who said that the Carbon family are “a family of servicemen and police officers” and says Mr Carbon grew up with a desire and ambition to help others before himself.
“Those that work in service should get additional assistance for their mental health without it being a question of cost,” he said.
“It’s not just that we’ve lost Anil and miss him, but also the family left behind to deal with that loss.
“If what happened tragically with him can change someone else’s life for the better then I hope it does. Our service personnel including emergency services do a great job and don’t always get recognised, and if I could say anything to Anil again, I’d say thank you for your service.”
‘He never found his way in life after the army’
Hull Coroners Court heard that as well as experiencing depression after leaving the Army as he tried to find another profession that gave him the same structure, Mr Carbon, who had six siblings, also experienced crippling anxiety and upset when Hurricane Maria hit his hometown of Dominica in September 2017.
He was worried about the wide spread devastation that the hurricane caused, and feared for the safety of his family in the country, who he was unable to contact at the time to find out if they were hurt.
Mr Carbon was referred to the traumatic stress service in April 2017 to discuss his PTSD, flashbacks and anger, as well as suicidal thoughts and paranoia.
But sadly his wife told the court in a statement that he “never found his way in life after the Army” and tried to end his life two times before he hung himself in the family home earlier this year.
“There were no warning signs, but later on I got access into his Samsung and saw that he has been writing notes on his phone that was in fact a suicide note, but in the weeks prior when he was writing things down, he said he was writing about his life on his phone,” she said.
“The Friday before he died, I even bought him a notebook for him to write his life story and he seemed so happy with it.
“He was a brilliant stepfather to my son and an amazing dad to our daughter and often spoke highly of his time in the Army and the structure it gave him. But it seems that he could not find his way in life again after leaving the Army.
“He was amazing and he saved me. I just wish I could have done the same for him.”
Access to mental health services
Since May 2015, Mr Carbon had contact with the mental health services, including an appointment with Help 4 Heroes over his low mood and suicidal thoughts.
He was given anti-depressants after his first suicide attempt in September 2017 and was seen regularly by PSYPHER after this and received a home visit from his care worker the day before he died.
A significant event analysis report was compiled by PSYPHER team leader Lesley Kitchen following the death of Mr Carbon, to see if any practice should be changed in the future that could prevent a similar tragedy.
It was established that full supervision notes should have been recorded in the clinical system and that Mr Carbon’s disengagement from the service should have been discussed after his case worker changed.
Following the review, a practice reminder note was sent to all clinicians in the trust to remind all staff to capture all relevant information in the system, and all staff still working at the trust and involved in Mr Carbon’s care were interviewed to establish whether the best care was given, but many staff involved had left the organisation so could not be contacted.
A conclusion of suicide
Recording a conclusion of suicide, area coroner Rosemary Baxter, said: “He took his own life and intended to do so, so I must record this conclusion as suicide.
“Anil suffered with PTSD since leaving the services and suffered with mental health problems and depression. In September 2017, his mental health worsened when Hurricane Maria wreaked havoc to his family in the Caribbean.”