A GP has described her shock after a “gentle” and “intelligent” art teacher was found hanged in woodlands.

Daniel Phipps, 32, took his own life at Coney Wood near Westdene in Brighton in August.

He lived at Gloucester Place in Brighton and worked at Holy Trinity Church of England School in Crawley.

Doctors and mental health services told an inquest he had struggled to cope with a relationship break down a year earlier, and was drinking too much.

But after telling his GP Sally Howlett about his suicidal thoughts in April, he received specialist mental health care from the East Brighton Treatment Service and had improved.

He was prescribed antidepressants, discharged back into the care of Dr Howlett, and they discussed options for counselling.

He kept all his appointments with the doctor and was later prescribed a higher dosage of medication.

But he was found by a dog walker in the woodlands just a fortnight after his latest appointment.

Coroner Catharine Palmer asked the doctor about the mental health care Daniel had received.

Dr Howlett, of the Albion Street Surgery in Brighton, said Daniel initially went to there after threatening to take his own life a week earlier.

Before this incident, there was no previous record of him having mental health problems or suicidal thoughts.

Dr Howlett said: “I was very shocked when I heard about his death.

“I had the impression that while he still had suicidal thoughts, he was still processing them logically.

“His medication was increased and he seemed quite logical about how he was going to get better.

“He was attending all his appointments and was keen to engage with us.”

At their last appointment in July, he said he was having some suicidal thoughts again but did not talk about any plans he had made to take his own life.

Instead, he discussed his plans for the school summer break, join a gym and enrol on a photography course.

A report from Dr Holly Boeg from the East Brighton Treatment Centre stated he was a “low risk” of suicide.

Her report noted: “Daniel was going to make changes in his life but was still dedicated to completing his teacher training.

“More recently he said he felt more positive but just had the need for someone to talk to.

“He turned to alcohol to manage his emotions but he was careful not to let alcohol affect his teaching work as he did not want to lose his job.

“The impression I got was of a gentle man suffering from the effects of a relationship breakdown.”

The coroner asked whether it was possible he had simply become suddenly overwhelmed by his low mood.

Dr Howlett said Daniel was made aware of where he could find emergency mental health treatment if he needed it.

The coroner said: “On the face of it it seems Daniel was referred to mental health services and was seen pretty quickly by them.

“The overall impression I get is that although he perhaps still had suicidal thoughts, they were improving.”

The coroner concluded death by hanging, caused by low mood and alcohol.