Ceara Thacker’s dad says UoL should’ve told them about previous suicide attempt

He said it would have ‘made a difference’


The father of a Liverpool student who died by suicide last year says the university should have told the family about her previous attempts, an inquest heard today.

19-year-old Ceara was in her first year studying at Liverpool when she was found in May 2018 after dying by suicide in her Liverpool halls of residence.

An inquest into Ceara's death opened today, where it was heard the university did not inform her parents of a previous suicide attempt.

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The court heard she was a "perceptive, intelligent, loyal, funny and extremely kind young woman".

Ceara's father, Iain Thacker, said his family were not told of Ceara's previous attempt to overdose in the February before her death, despite the university being aware of it.

The court was also told she kept in regular contact with her family throughout her first year, during which she had fully disclosed her mental health problems to the university.

Ceara's father told the court his daughter's death was a "horrible, terrible shock" to her family.

He said UoL staff "needed to recognise that they were dealing with a really vulnerable 19-year-old who was living away from home for the first time, who wasn't thinking straight, who wasn't coping and who needed her family to support her."

After Ceara's initial suicide attempt, her request for mental health help went unanswered for over a month due to industrial action taking place at the University of Liverpool.

An internal review conducted last year found university staff did nothing to preempt a situation such as Ceara's during the industrial action of 2018.

Her father said the family "feel very strongly that someone in a position of responsibility needed to ask her if she wanted us to be told' which would have 'made a difference."

The inquest into Ceara's death will continue this week.

If you are struggling with a mental health issue, or you know somebody who is, please contact the Samaritans helpline on 116 123 or contact your university’s counselling service.

For the University of Liverpool counselling service, call 0151 794 3304 or email counserv@liverpool.ac.uk