University of Manchester student with ‘severe anxiety’ dies in halls

His father said: ‘If you lockdown young people because of Covid-19 with little support, then you should expect that they suffer severe anxiety’

The father of a University of Manchester student has suggested “little support” over campus “lockdown” could have led to his son’s passing.

Finn Kitson, aged 19, was found passed away in his halls, after police were called to Fallowfield campus on October 8.

Police are not treating the death as suspicious and the university has said it was not coronavirus related. However, the student’s father, academic Michael Kitson, disputes this. Replying on Twitter to a now-deleted article link saying his son’s death was not related to coronavirus, he wrote: “This is untrue. If you lockdown young people because of Covid-19 with little support, then you should expect that they suffer severe anxiety.

“The student referred to below is our son – and we love and miss him so much”.

The day after his son’s passing, Mr Kitson tweeted: “Our beautiful brilliant son and brother, Finn, has passed away.

“We are all devastated. Please give anything you can towards mental health charities. He was 19 with this whole life before him.”

Tributes have poured in for Finn, including from Cambridge City FC, where Finn was a former youth club player. The team observed a minute’s silence in his memory last week.

Director for the student experience at the University of Manchester Dr Simon Merrywest said: “We can confirm that very sadly one of our students was found deceased in their hall of residence at around 5pm on Thursday, October 8th. We are providing all possible support to their family and friends and our utmost sympathies go out to them.

“The family have asked us to make it clear that this incident is not Covid-19-related and that they would wish to see their privacy respected at this difficult time.

“The university is working closely with the Manchester’s Coroner’s Office, so we will not be able to comment any further”.

A Greater Manchester Police spokesperson said: “At around 5pm on Thursday, October 8, police received a report of concern for the welfare of a man at a property off Moseley Road, Manchester.

“Emergency services attended and a 19-year-old man was sadly pronounced dead at the scene. His next of kin has been informed. There are believed to be no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death”.

The news comes after reports of the University of Manchester having over 1,000 cases of coronavirus on campus, with students reporting their mental health subsequently suffering.

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