A father-of-one who was due to star in a new reality TV show set in Birmingham killed himself because he feared he was too short, an inquest has heard.
Jonathan McNally, 27, a personal trainer, was due to appear in a Birmingham version of The Only Way Is Essex called The Project after auditioning for the show in May.
However, just a few weeks later he hanged himself in a friend's back garden after a battle with depression sparked by issues over his height - despite the fact that he was 5ft 7in.
Speaking after Mr McNally’s inquest on Tuesday, his sister Gina McNally said: 'He had issues with his height from a young age. 'All through school he was tiny and had tests which showed he was behind by about two years. He was depressed from a young age about it. But he eventually shot up and was around 5ft 7ins.
'Other things added to the way he felt. All this should have been picked up from when he was a child, but it never was.'
Birmingham Coroner’s Court heard that Mr McNally, from Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, died six days after being found hanged on June 1. Coroner Louise Hunt recorded a verdict of suicide.
At an inquest into his death, Mr McNally's family said his depression was sparked by issues over his height when he was a child, despite the fact that he eventually grew to be 5ft 7in
Sisters Jamie, 32, Gina, 23, and Leanne, 34 , believe Mr McNally did not intend to kill himself, and blame a lack of support from metal health services for his death
However, Mr McNally's family said they did not believe he had intended to take his own life and called for improvements in mental health services.
Gina, aged 23 and from Sutton Coldfield, said her brother had been given tablets for his depression but more could have been done.
She said: 'Jon had gone to the doctors but all he got were tablets. He heard voices in his head.
'He wasn’t offered any counselling and I don’t think enough was done to help him or take care of his mental health issues. There was a lack of support.'
Mr McNally (left), a personal trainer, died six days after hanging himself in a friend's back garden on June 1
Older sister Leanne Harper, 32, who also attended the inquest with brother Wayne, 36, and a third sister, 34-year-old Jamie, added: 'We don’t think he wanted to commit suicide. He was up and down over the years but did his best to cover it up.'
Jamie thanked Mr McNally’s friend Kim Myles and her neighbour Amy Daniels, who both tried to keep him alive.
Mr McNally's parents Micky, 49, and Lynn, 56, were too upset to attend the inquest but issued a joint statement saying: 'We forgive Jon for what he did.
'It takes a brave person to do what he did, not a coward. We love and miss him loads.
I'm so angry right now. I'm angry about what happened and I'm so sad for his family.
What sort of society is this? Where a little boy grows up depressed because he fears being short!
Sadly we cant ask Mr McNally what he was feeling but my guess is that it was along the lines of what other shorter men report feeling. I suspect that he was worried about being picked on, of being perceived as less masculine, of being a subject of mockery for others. All the wonderful things he achieved in his life, his family, his success in TV were not enough because on some level he felt he wasn't enough. Heightism made him feel like he wasn't enough.
I know that there were other factors at play here but it's clear that Heightism scarred poor Mr McNally so badly that it was a contributing factor to his bad mental health and eventual suicide.
Next time someone tells you that Heightism doesn't matter, that it's just a joke and that you should lighten up, point them this way.
Heightism hurts. Heightism destroys families. Heightism kills men.
RIP Mr McNally