A teenager who took his own life was reportedly showing no signs of feeling depressed in the lead up to his death. Tristan Taylor, 15, had appeared excited as he discussed his newly-decorated bedroom last Saturday before chatting to his dad on the phone. Tristan, a pupil at Thamesview Scool in Kent, Gravesend, tragically took his own life later that day.

Mum Gemma Cayley-Smith and step dad Shayne McCosh, of Latona Drive, Gravesend, told KentOnline: "He was really excited. He'd helped choose the decoration, but he hadn't seen it completed until that day."

Dad Gavin Taylor said: "We always finish our conversations telling each other we love each other. There was nothing different at all in the phone call."

Last year, Tristan had been struggling with his mental health after his parents noticed he had self-harmed, but his mum claims things seemed better.

"I took him wall climbing and out for a meal just the two of us earlier in the year and we chatted on the car journey. It was really nice," she said.

Gavin said he would sit his son down for "heart-to-hearts" and encourage him to talk about his feelings.

Gavin coached his son's football team, with the pair often heading down to the beach with his sister Sophia, nine, for crabbing after a match day.

Gavin said: "He was always telling us how much he loved us. He had such a kind heart. He would always put others before himself."

Gavin said Tristan was very popular and was always out with friends or they were knocking on his door and hanging out at his house, but "thinks maybe he didn't realise how much he was loved." He added: "Everyone wanted to be around him."

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Gemma has recently discovered that her son would phone close friends for a chat in the early hours of the morning.

"We had no idea but it is comforting that he felt he could talk to them," she said. "But he must have still felt alone. There was just no sign. I worried about his mental health but I never, ever thought something like this would happen.

"Tristan masked his true feelings with humour. It made him happy to make others happy."

Gavin said: "He used to have us in stitches and all his friends said he was always the one who made them smile."

Gemma and Gavin have been encouraging Tristan's friends to talk by standing at the school gates at the end of the day.

"Some would arrive at our house to talk and express their condolences, however for every one who turned up there would be five who couldn't do this, so we decided to go to the school to encourage them to talk instead," said Gemma.

"The kids are so mature. They come up and offer their condolences. We want to chat to them and make them feel they have someone to talk to."

His friends are also planning to release balloons in Tristan's memory at Higham Rec at 7pm on Saturday.

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2023-05-25T15:38:35Z dg43tfdfdgfd