A heartbroken dad says the misery of modern life played a massive part in his son’s death.

Derek Boal believes a perfect storm of social pressures led to 16-year-old Murray’s suicide last month.

And the 43-year-old service engineer thinks many more young people are suffering in silence.

He said: “I totally back the campaign the Wishaw Press is doing with regards to mental health.

“But my son never suffered from mental health. He never had a history of that.

“I actually went and spoke to a counsellor for the first time to discuss that. She said 75 per cent of people who commit suicide don’t actually suffer from mental health.

“It’s just a dark moment in their life. It can happen to anyone. In one dark moment anyone can snap.

“I think in his daft teenage mind, he’s wanted to try and win his girlfriend back, and thinking if he tried something like this it would prove to her how much he loved her.

“I don’t think he’s meant to do it. I was on the phone to him every night. Even at 16 years old he still text every night to say love you dad’.

“The last text he sent was to his mate saying ‘I love you bro’. He’s obviously been in a bad place at that point.

“Why couldn’t he have just phoned me that night when he was feeling the way he was feeling?”

Former Coltness High pupil Murray took his own life in woodlands behind Coltness on Monday, May 14 – just three days before his 17th birthday.

Derek is now seeing a counsellor as he tries to come to terms with the devastating loss.

He wishes his son had seen how well-loved he was before he took his own life.

He said: “The funeral was on May 25. The Friday night I found out he was dead was the worst of my life – I’d never wish that on anyone.

“It’s a pity it took for this to happen for Murray to see how many people were there for him.

“There was nearly 600 people at the funeral. The church was full and they were still trying to squeeze more in.

“It’s unfortunate it’s took something like this. If he’d been looking down and seen it he’d have thought ‘Jesus, what have I done. I meant that much to so many people’.”

Derek is sure that social media and a lack of opportunities is hitting youngsters hard these days.

“It’s shocking,” heartbroken Derek explained. “The kids have got nothing these days.”

“I grew up in Coltness. The house Murray was living in with his Gran was my childhood house.

“When I was a kid you had the family choice shop, next to the chapel across from the garage, which was a youth project years ago.

“You had table tennis, darts, pool. It was just a good place for people to go. Behind it you had the old community centre. There were youth clubs in there that ran activities and days away and stuff like that.“There’s nothing like that anymore.

“Kenny Davidson, my friend, is trying to set up a boxing club there to get kids off the street, but the council keep putting hurdles and barriers up.“Because they (kids) have not been brought up in that environment with those things being there they aren’t used to it.

“If they were brought up going to clubs all the time they’d maybe continue doing it.”

• Whatever you’re going through, there are people willing to listen. Call the Samaritans free any time from any phone on 116 123 (this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill), or emailjo@samaritans.org, or visit www.samaritans.org to find details of your nearest branch.