Bristol student told uni she was suicidal two months before her death, coroner hears
The family say there was no direct contact made with the University’s support services
A coroner has been told that a Bristol student who took her own life did not receive adequate support from the University after emailing a department manager.
The student emailed a manager at the School of Physics to say she had been feeling suicidal and had attempted suicide. Two months later, in April this year, she died by suicide.
The second-year physicist told the manager: "I wanted to tell you that the past few days have been really hard. I have been having suicidal thoughts and to a certain degree attempted it." However, after this, she did not receive wellbeing support, the pre-inquest review heard.
Despite the email being sent, the family said there did not seem to be any direct contact with the student wellbeing services. They have also raised concerns over the fact their child had "very limited contact" with her personal tutor.
The student's parents have expressed their fears that people about to start studying at Bristol may potentially be at risk.
In view of this, the senior coroner for Avon, Maria Voisin, has been asked to consider making a report so that further student deaths can be prevented.
A full inquest is set to take place next year, and the coroner has yet to decide whether this will be heard by a jury.
The University of Bristol told the Guardian: "We are taking every step we can, to work with our students to help them build the life-skills and resilience to cope with the pressures they face, and to identify vulnerable students as early as possible so we can support them with their mental health issues.
"Our whole-institution approach will help us reach out to our students more proactively. We are putting in place a structure of preventative services and policies to try and avoid our students reaching crisis point.
"Mental health leads from the NHS and Public Health England are actively engaged in the planning and development of this approach."
If you are experiencing any kind of mental health issue which you believe is heavily affecting you, help is ready and available for those who require it.
A list of all the Bristol services open to students can be found here.
Samaritans have an invaluable helpline – 116 123 – that is open 24/7. Their website can also be found here.
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