Lily Arkwright’s family have called for greater mental health support at UK unis

Lily was a second year at Cardiff University before she died

The family of second year Cardiff University student Lily Arkwright, who passed away in October, has spoken out about Lily’s death and the struggles that students are currently facing.

Lily’s mother, Annie, has said that she thinks online learning, and the consequent lack of contact, may have had a “dramatic effect on [Lily’s] mental well-being”.

Speaking to ITV News, Annie said “the light and the life were beginning to drain” out of her daughter, and added that she “was not her normal vibrant self”.

“She didn’t know where to turn and provision wasn’t made for that,” she said.

At least one university student has died every week since the beginning of the term. 11 students in total have now passed away this academic year. The Arkwright family is calling for greater support for students during this difficult time.

Lily’s 17-year-old brother, Jonty, also spoke to ITV about Lily’s death, saying that he thinks lockdown had a negative impact on his sister. “I think the restrictions meant she felt increasingly isolated,” he said.

“I really feel universities could do more to help young people. It can be hard to reach out. But if you are asked, it’s much easier to tell someone what’s happening in your head.”

Annie wants greater funding towards mental health services within every university.

A Cardiff University spokesperson said: “We are aware of the very sad death of our student.

“We know the coronavirus pandemic has presented everyone, including our students, with unprecedented challenges and pressures. We have put in place additional counselling and well-being support.”

If you have been affected by the contents of this article you can find links to mental health resources below. Please reach out if you are struggling.

Cardiff University Student Support and Wellbeing: Follow for information on the support Cardiff has to offer through the Counselling, Health, and Wellbeing Team

Student Intervention Team: Email if you would like to talk through how you are feeling. [email protected]

Mind Mental Health Organisation: Follow for support and information regarding mental health.

You matter.