I was devastated after my son took his own life at just 22 – my ‘maternal instinct’ told me something was wrong

A devastated mother said her mother’s “instinct” told her something was wrong before she lost her 22-year-old son to suicide.

Tyler Robertson tragically took his own life while working as an electrician in London.

Nicola Robertson was devastated after her 22-year-old son took his own life


Nicola Robertson was devastated after her 22-year-old son took his own lifeCredit: NCJ MEDIA
said Nicholas "the mother's instinct" had told her something was wrong


Nicola said her mother’s “instinct” told her something was wrongCredit: NCJ MEDIA

His mother Nicola Robertson, 42, said she knew something was wrong when she couldn’t reach him on the phone.

She said his boss went to the flat where he was staying in Camden and found he had passed away.

Police then arrived at his family home in Hebburn, South Tyneside, and broke the heartbreaking news to Nicola and his father Lee, 50.

Nicola, who is also mum to Skye, 21, and Libby, 18, said: “I don’t know if it was a mother’s instinct but I had a gut feeling when I couldn’t reach him and he hadn’t . I didn’t call me.

“Tyler was always outgoing, upbeat, and he was always the class clown.

“He was cheeky and would do anything for anyone.

“I knew he hadn’t been well for a few weeks. I could tell by his mood and manners. He wasn’t himself.”

Tyler took his own life in July 2020 after valiantly battling his mental health issues.

Nicola said her son had been struggling in the months leading up to his trip to London for work.

She said his mood was bad and that he had admitted to her that he had tried to end his life.

At one point he was taken to South Tyneside District Hospital in South Shields after phoning the police asking for help.

Nicola said: “He was deathly sensitive. He absorbed things and they played in his mind, but he didn’t let them.

“About May I saw the change in him. The first time I knew something was really wrong was when he was looking for his car keys for work and couldn’t find them.

“I said, ‘You’re useless, you always lose something!’. He said, ‘I know I’m useless, I tried to hang myself and it didn’t work’.

“I tried to call the doctors and get him help. He went out one night and called the police and said ‘I need help, I can’t live his life anymore’.

“We called the police and reported him missing and they said ‘we already got a call from him.’

“The police found him at 7am the next morning and took him to the hospital.

“He used to go to Morgan’s Gym in Pelaw. He was a real fitness fanatic, he went to the gym every day.

“It wasn’t until he died that I found out he had written the owner a note saying, ‘Can’t you just sneak me in through the back door because I feel like I need it now?'”.

“The gym helped him a lot. I think he had problems because he couldn’t walk. It must have been him or he wouldn’t have sent that message to the gym owner.”


A life is lost to suicide in the UK EVERY 90 minutes.

It does not discriminate and touches the lives of people in all sectors of society – from the homeless and unemployed to construction workers and doctors, to reality stars and footballers.

It is the leading cause of death for people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car accidents.

Yet it’s rarely talked about, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage if we don’t all stop now and take notice.

That’s why The Sun launched the You’re Not Alone campaign.

The goal is that we can all do our part to save lives by providing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health.

Let’s all pledge to ask for help when we need it and to listen to others… You are not alone.

If you or someone you know needs help coping with mental health issues, the following organizations offer support:

Nicola said Tyler was paid from his job as an electrician due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

She said he had been offered a job in London and traveled to the capital for the job.

Nicola said Tyler had previously worked with his father, Lee, and his spirits appeared to be improving.

She said the following Monday, July 13, he told her he was going out for a few pints with a boy from work.

She said: “I told him to watch what he’s doing and I’ll speak to him on Tuesday.”

However, she was unable to reach her son the next day.

Nicola said: “Come on Wednesday, which I knew perfectly well would not be coming back. I had a gut feeling.”

Dad Lee, who also works as an electrician, called Tyler’s boss and he told him he would call him back.

She said: “By that point his boss had literally just found him.

“Apparently he hadn’t turned up for work on Tuesday. When he went to work on Wednesday, the other guys at work told him his electrician hadn’t called in for two days.

“He went to the apartment where Tyler was staying and that’s where he found him.

“About 15 minutes later the police knocked on the door and said our son had died.”


Nicola said Tyler was well known in his hometown and hundreds of people turned out for his funeral at Hebburn Cemetery.

She said she also received numerous messages from people she didn’t know.

She said: “He was just a lovely boy and had a lot of friends. Even when he was dying, people were sending me messages from all over the world – I was like, how did he know these people?

“Whenever he was on holiday or working away, he spoke to everyone.

“He had a great relationship with his father. His father always says that he lost his best friend, his son, his work colleague and his fitness partner.

“They used to work together, go to the gym together and take pictures together.”

Nicola said she is proud of her daughters for how they handled the death of their brother.

She said: “The year Tyler died, I was trying to push her to continue with her studies.

“My youngest daughter was doing her GCSEs and my oldest daughter was doing her teacher training exam. I didn’t want them struggling and throwing out or putting off their careers.

“Libby has just graduated from high school and is going to be nursing in September and Skye has graduated as a primary school teacher. I’m so proud of her. They didn’t feel like it, but they pushed through and made it.”

His father always says he lost his best friend, his son, his work colleague and his sports partner. “

Nicola Robertson, 42

Nicola is in the process of starting a support group called Suicide Affects Family & Friends Everywhere (SAFFE).

She said: “I have my good days and my bad days, so I wanted to start this group.

“It’s very different with suicide, there are no answers. Tyler never left a note and cleared his phone.

“So I have nothing at all. He wasn’t in the mood, nobody is when they do that, but nothing prompted him to do it.

“There was no alcohol in his system and no drugs in his system. When I speak to someone who has lost someone to suicide, I feel like I can identify with them.

“I’m trying to put Tyler on the back burner and focus on helping them and that makes me feel better. But when I’m alone, it’s very different.

“Since then I’ve met quite a few people who were in the same situation. I think it’s easier to talk to someone who’s been there and experienced it.”

Nicola plans to hold group meetings at St Oswald’s Church in Hebburn and she has also set up a group on Facebook.

The first meeting will take place on September 5 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Everyone is cordially invited to take part.

To donate, go to

Nicola started a charity group (SAFFE) in honor of her son Tyler


Nicola started a charity group (SAFFE) in honor of her son TylerCredit: NCJ MEDIA I was devastated after my son took his own life at just 22 – my ‘maternal instinct’ told me something was wrong


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