Bournemouth Uni failed to tell parents of student’s suicide risk before he took his own life

Callum Jewell died earlier this year in his halls bedroom


Law student Callum Jewell visited welfare officers at Bournemouth University to tell them he was feeling "desperate" and had been taken to hospital after taking an overdose.

This was on December 15th, after which Callum was discharged from hospital and thought to be at "low risk" of harming himself again. He returned home to Bristol to spend Christmas with his family.

Callum didn't tell his parents what had happened that previous term and when he returned to university he started counselling, attending six sessions.

However, eight days after his last session, Callum was found dead in his halls bedroom on February 27th.

His housemates had become concerned that he wasn't really leaving his room and had contacted a welfare co-ordinator at the uni, who came to Callum's room the next day. They called an ambulance but he was declared dead at the scene.

Callum's dad, Rob Jewell, told the inquest into his son's death he couldn't understand why Bournemouth had not told him about what his son had been going through. The university responded saying that telling him would have been a breach of trust.

Mr Jewell said: "There was no form of parent interaction and I wish I had been contacted to know he was in trouble. You get sent constant correspondence about your student loan, yet we didn't hear anything about my son's health."

In Callum's first meeting with the welfare officer, shortly after his first suicide attempt and before he'd gone home for Christmas, Callum said the overdose wouldn't happen again and that it was a "stupid thing to do".

By Callum's second meeting, the welfare coordinator believed he was in "good spirits". However, the conversations during these meetings weren't recorded or passed on to the university's safeguarding teams.

Concerns about student safety were raised at the inquest, which outlined the failings of "recording and passing on" information about vulnerable undergraduates.

Mandi Barron, head of student services at Bournemouth University, said: "It is unusual for us to approach the parents directly.

"We do advise students to contact family and friends but we would never do so without their permission because they are adults and we would not want to break down that trust between us."

Coroner Rachael Griffin said a system should have been in place where Callum's parents would have been alerted about their son's ongoing mental health struggles with his consent.

This could have included a form where he had the option to tick a box so that his parents could be contacted about his health.

Coroner Rachael Griffin said: "Callum was a young man with a bright future and it is so tragic that he is no longer with us. His death has caused devastation to many people as he was so popular."

The Tab Bournemouth

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