Strong support couldn't stop farmer's suicide

Paul Renton was Hawke's Bay farmer of the year for 2017. Photo via NZ Herald
Paul Renton was Hawke's Bay farmer of the year for 2017. Photo via NZ Herald
Hawke's Bay farmer Paul Renton was haunted by a fear of financial collapse and working 18-hour days in the lead-up to his suicide, a coroner's report has found.

In the Thursday report, obtained by Stuff, Coroner Peter Ryan found Renton died in spite of the strong support around him from the community, as well as his wife.

Just four months before his death the father of three was accepting the 2017 Hawke's Bay Farmer of the Year award.

But after a tough few seasons, Renton was worried. His wife Marie was confident about their financial position but Renton could not sleep, Stuff reported.

He was getting up at 3am, starting work at 5am, and not stopping until 11pm.

He was seeking help for his mental health issues, first diagnosed with moderate anxiety and depression in July 2017.

On August 1, he again visited his GP when it became apparent his condition was "far greater" than first thought. Antidepressant and hypnotic medication were prescribed and an urgent psychiatric assessment was arranged, Stuff reported.

The assessment diagnosed him with major depression and Renton agreed to continue counselling and take medication.

He died the next day.

Where to get help:

Healthline: 0800 611 116
Lifeline Aotearoa: 0800 543 354
Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)
Samaritans: 0800 726 666
Alcohol Drug Helpline: 0800 787 797
General mental health inquiries: 0800 443 366
The Depression Helpline: 0800 111 757
Youthline: 0800 376 633, txt 234 or
What's Up (for 5-18 year olds; 1pm-11pm): 0800 942 8787
Kidsline (aimed at children up to age 14; 4pm-6pm weekdays): 0800 54 37 54 (0800 kidsline)