An investigation has been mounted after an army veteran who took his own life following a serious parachute accident "slipped through the cracks".

Kirk McLaughlin's 12 years of service ended in March 2014 after a parachute jump went wrong, leaving him with a hip tear that led to medical discharge from the 3rd Parachute Regiment.

The 36-year-old, who lived in Buckhurst Hill and served in Afghanistan, struggled to adapt to life out of the forces and fell into a deep depression.

He died on November 21, one week after his divorce was finalised.

Mum Denise McLaughlin said: "He has always suffered with depression. When he got out of the army it got worse.

"He had to take a lot of injections but nothing helped with the pain. Everyday was hard for him."

Although he contacted NHS mental health services, Mr McLaughlin struggled to speak about his illness.

Mrs McLaughlin added: "He has been let down a lot by the NHS. He hadn't seen his GP for about three months. He closed himself away.

"They live a different way in the army. They don't trust people. He slipped through the cracks.

"I saw him on the morning he died and he said there's nothing anybody can do for me.

"Kirk took his own life in a tragic way. I don't want it to happen to anyone else."

The 36 year-old left behind him a large family, including three young sons - Callum, 15, Alfie, 11 and Charlie, six - as well as a promising art career.

Having struggled to find work post-army Mr McLaughlin took to the canvas, producing vivid portraits in oil and acrylic paints.

Shortly before his death he won an award from the Armed Forces Art Society for a painting of Colonel Stuart Tootal OBE, a well known author whom Mr McLaughlin chauffeured in Afghanistan.

Now an art prize is being set up by the Ministry of Defence in the former St John's School, Epping, boy's name.

Mrs McLaughlin said: "We are getting a lot of comfort from that.

"We are not doing very well but we are a big family. There was been lots of support from friends and strangers."

His brother, Taylor, is also running the London Marathon for him. He has raised £3,500 so far.

On December 18 around 400 people paid their respects at the Church of the Immaculate Conception to Mr McLaughlin, who was later laid to rest in Theydon Bois Cemetery close to where he grew up.

To support Taylor's marathon effort and to donate to the Mental Health Foundation in Mr McLaughlin's name, click here. 

A spokesperson for the Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust said: "We can confirm that this gentleman was known to our services, and we extend our deepest sympathies to everyone affected by this tragic incident.

"Following the incident the Trust initiated a full internal review. We are unable to comment any further at this time until our investigation is completed.”