he's had enough breakdowns for the people around him to know the signs now surely?
he is obviously deeply unhappy at times, and those around him should be well tuned in to his warning signs and be able to intervene before it gets to this
feel proper sorry for him to be honest
Seeing the signs is one thing but if he (or whoever in a situation like this) refuses help or denies they are that ill it becomes difficult to get them to accept help.
The only way you can force someone to have treatment is under the Mental Health Act - there is no half way house. That decision is easy to take if someone obviously lacks the insight to make the choice. Where it's not as clear it has to be a judgement made by a psychiatrist, a GP and a mental health professional. All 3 have to agree or detention can't happen.
People are not just ill or well, the illness fluctuates. Imagine having a long term respiratory problem and then catching a cough or cold - at what stage do you get help? First sneeze or cough or when you are struggling to breathe? The added complication with mental health is the sufferer may be lacking insight and self awareness so others have to make the decision.
In my experience it was the cases where there was not an obvious course of action that were difficult because I knew my decision had consequences and risks which ever way I went. You are removing someone's liberty and treating against their will or leaving them with an element of risk to themselves and possibly others. Those were the ones that gave you sleepless nights!!
At least Clarke has been found and appropriate help is there.