*At the request of Tracey's family, we have reshared this story back on the homepage four years after initially publishing it. If anyone has been struggling with mental health issues, details are at the bottom of the article.* 

A Loudwater couple has paid tribute to their loving daughter and stepdaughter, one year on from her tragic suicide.

Tracey Hancocks, 51, passed away on Thursday, November 15, 2018, in Cornwall although she lived in Devon, after battling with mental health issues for nearly 30 years.

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She left behind a daughter, husband, and brother, with her mum Doreen, ‘Dors’ Willis, and her stepdad, Les Willis, hoping that Tracey’s story will stop others from taking their own lives.

Bucks Free Press: Tracey (left) on her wedding day with Dors Tracey (left) on her wedding day with Dors

Dors said: “Tracey had a lovely, kind, and generous nature but with her bipolar, her mood swings could go high or low.

“Over the years, we learned to enjoy the good times and be there for her when she was unwell.

“On her last weekend, she came to stay with us and we could see straight away she was not in a good place.

“But she put this down to the fact that she had come directly from work and was tired.

“We could see this was not just tiredness.”

Tracey, who had primarily worked as a travel agent, was first diagnosed with depression in 1992 when she voluntarily admitted herself into Amersham Hospital's Haleacre Health Unit where she was treated for bipolar.

Bucks Free Press: Tracey and her daughter Chloe Tracey and her daughter Chloe

After being told she should continue to take lithium for life and anti-depressants if needed, Tracey suffered three severe cases of depression and was later sectioned under the Mental Health Act.

During one of these episodes in 1993, she was given five ECT [electroconvulsive therapy] sessions.

It was later revealed by a neurologist from Wycombe Hospital, that due to Tracey’s state, she should never have had the ECTs.

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Additionally, Tracey attempted suicide by jumping off a Loudwater bridge, which resulted in breaking her fourth vertebrate and her fibula, and tibia in her right leg.

And although she carried the scars, she made a full recovery.

In 2012, in an attempt to start over, she moved away from Buckinghamshire and settled in Devon, but in 2015, Tracey was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Bucks Free Press: Dors and Tracey Dors and Tracey

Tracey’s funeral, which was organised by her family, was based on mental health issues.

An extract from Tracey’s suicide letter reads: “I am so sorry, but, I can no longer carry on feeling the way I do.

"Every day is a struggle.

"I can’t stop the thoughts in my head as I am no good.

"I have tried to overcome this but I feel so lost and empty.

"I know I’m a coward for not facing things and I love you all very much.

"I hate myself, I am not very bright, I cannot see a light at the end of the tunnel, I don’t want to suffer with mental health and be a burden to anyone.

"Every day I look in the mirror, simple things in life I don’t enjoy.

"I have lost the will to carry on.

"I know everyone says I will get better, yes, but, then it comes back again.

"I can’t cope anymore.

"I look at people and wonder why I can’t be happy.

"I don’t want to wake every morning and hate life.

"Well, goodbye.

Bucks Free Press: Dors and Les holding a picture of Tracey in November 2019 Dors and Les holding a picture of Tracey in November 2019 (Image: NQ)

"My loves, please be joyful and not sad.

"This is no-one’s fault – it is me.

"Maybe it is the menopause, maybe it is my mind, but I hope you understand and don’t hate me.”

Dors added: "When she was well, Tracey was the life and soul of the party – first on the dance floor and last off.

"I would have liked to have said today mental health care has very much improved, but sadly it has got so much worse.

"But one good thing is that it is now much more openly spoken about, unfortunately, however, this has sadly brought its own problem.

"There are neither the facilities nor professional personnel to accommodate people with mental health illnesses.

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"We loved Tracey when she was well and when she was ill.

"On the day she went missing, we went down to Devon but as we arrived, two police officers turned up and we just knew it wasn’t going to be good news.

"When they told us the news of Tracey’s death, we were devastated.

“We just hope people read this and get the help that they need, and talk to their family, friends and doctors and understand that this is an illness and not anything to be ashamed of.

"We would not want any other family to go through the sadness we have and are still going through."

If you have been affected by the article, please visit www.bucksmind.org.uk or www.samaritans.org.