To view original article click here
By Michael Yong, Sophie Evans
10:10, 19 Jan 2018 UPDATED10:28, 19 Jan 2018
[After 7 more suicides, in 2018 UWE Bristol launched a Case Review into Student Deaths by Suicide between January 2010 and July 2018. IN the 7 cases listed below 5 were known to have been taking antidepressants, and one was in serious withdrawal. The medication status of the other 2 is not mentioned. Despite the seemingly obvious connection between the antidepressants and the suicides, the issue of antidepressant use was not even considered in the case review. – SSRI Editor]
James Thomson, 20, who once appeared on the TV quiz show, was found hanged by a close pal after he failed to answer knocks on his bedroom door, an inquest heard
|Grieving parents have questioned a university after their maths student son became the seventh Bristol student to take their own life in just a year.
James Thomson, 20, who once appeared on Countdown, was found hanged by a close pal last October after he failed to answer knocks on his bedroom door.
He was tragically pronounced dead shortly afterwards.
James was the seventh student from Bristol’s two universities to kill themselves in only 12 months – after three young women and three men also did so.
He had appeared on the popular TV quiz show Countdown in December 2016.
Video footage shows him being cheered on by enthusiastic fellow students as they watch his appearance on the programme on a big screen at university.
James Thomson, 20, was found hanged by a close pal last October after he failed to answer knocks on his bedroom door.
The second-year student had appeared on the popular TV quiz show Countdown in December 2016.
James, who was in his second year, had been battling depression for about 18 months before he was discovered in his room by friend James Lockyear.
But during an inquest into his death yesterday, his heartbroken parents questioned why Bristol University did not do more to get in touch with them when they found out he was suffering from the disorder.
Avon Coroners Court heard James had gone to the student health services and been prescribed medication by them before his death.
It was told he came home from Ashton Gate, where he watched his favourite team Crystal Palace get beaten by Bristol City in the League Cup on October 24.
A huge Palace fan, he was in a low mood and did not acknowledge his housemate, Alexandra Day, when she saw him, the inquest heard.
Thinking he might have been unhappy at the loss, she decided to let him be.
James’s mum, Diana, is pictured speaking to the BBC following her son’s tragic death ( Image: Bristol Post)
In her statement to court, Ms Day said she had tried knocking on his door at their home in Kingsdown, Bristol, the following day at 1.30pm.
However, she got no reply.
She started getting worried for James. He had previously told her he was on antidepressants and had tried to kill himself before, the inquest heard.
A few hours later, Ms Day heard movement in James’s room and she again went up to see if he was okay. His bedroom door was closed, and she told him he could speak to her if he wanted, the Bristol Post reports.
Mr Lockyear came to the house that evening on his way to an event organised by the university’s snooker society, of which James was also a member.
Banging on James’s door, Mr Lockyear heard no reply. And when he forced the door open, he found James hanged, the inquest heard.
He and Ms Day called 999 and James was pronounced dead at around 7.45pm.
An inquest heard James had gone to the student health services and been prescribed medication by them before his death ( Image: SWNS.com)
James enrolled at Bristol University in September 2015 to study maths.
A former pupil at Northampton School for Boys, a state-funded single sex school, he was described as a scholar and well liked, doing well in his A-levels.
Teachers talked about his sense of humour and kindness.
After he moved to Bristol University, he found it difficult to integrate at his hall of residence. His parents said going from a class size of 15 at school to lecture halls of more than 100 students affected him.
His attendance declined and in February 2016, he failed exams.
“We wanted to talk to his tutors but he said he would do so instead,” his parents, Alastair and Diana, said in their statement to court.
They said they did not know if he received any extra assistance during that difficult period, and he was recommended to take a year out to complete his modules.
James enrolled at Bristol University in September 2015 to study Maths (file picture) ( Image: Getty)
That summer, James went home to Northampton and expressed his determination to do well and resume his course.
But over Christmas, his parents were shocked to find tablets in his room, and he admitted he had been on them for a while, the inquest heard.
“Between January and June  we were not aware he got any further support or counselling from the student mental health service,” his parents said.
James went on to pass his exams and resumed his studies last September. He was made captain of the third snooker team and volunteered with the scouts.
Things were looking up, and he seemed in good spirits when he spoke to his family in the days leading to his death, his parents said.
They added: “At no point did he give any indication of intention to end his life.
“James’s death was completely unexpected and was a shock to us all.
“We became aware in the academic year of 2016/17 that five Bristol University students took their own lives.
“We do not know if the university had identified or helped students at risk and if they did, we do not know if this was followed.”
Kim Long, an 18-year-old fresher at Bristol University, took his own life in November 2016 ( Image: Facebook)
They also claimed: “No attempts were made to contact us to help assess his mental health while he was alive.”
The court heard James had gone to the student health service in October 2016.
He had regular check-ups and At no point did he mention suicide to them, and he was last seen in July 2017 for an ankle sprain.
James’s personal tutor, Dr John Mackay, told the court in a statement that he was aware of James’s academic problems, but did not know he was suffering from low moods and depression.
They were in regular contact, but only discussed academic issues.
In his conclusion, assistant coroner Dr Peter Harrowing ruled that James’s death was suicide.
Dr Harrowing said: “His parents are understandably shocked at the sad loss of their son, and raised concerns about whether anything else could have been done.”
Miranda Williams, a 19-year-old philosophy student at the same university, died of an overdose at her halls of residence ( Image: Williams family / SWNS.com)
James was the seventh local university student – six from Bristol University and one from University of the West of England (UWE) – to have taken their own life in a year. Inquests have heard they all took their own lives.
But Dr Harrowing said their deaths were “not linked”, and decided against writing to the university to recommend other prevention strategies.
Referring to university documents, he said he was assured Bristol University had everything in place to prevent further deaths, including allowing students to declare if they have mental health issues before enrolment.
He said staff and students could freely come forward to discuss their issues without fear of discrimination, and that he was satisfied at the level of support at the university.
“The university has an open culture and anybody can raise concerns about fellow students or individuals so they can be acted upon,” Dr Harrowing added.
“It does provide the necessary support for students throughout their studies. Sadly some students will choose not to avail themselves to that support.”
In January 2017, Bristol University neuroscience student Lara Nosiru was discovered in a gorge beneath a 300-foot bridge ( Image: Facebook)
Mark Ames, director of Student Services at the university, said: “On behalf of the university, I would like to offer sincere condolences to James’s family and friends. Our thoughts are with them at this very sad time. Our student support services are available to support anyone affected.”
In October 2016, Bristol University fresher Daniel Green was found hanged in his room at Goldney Hall in a “very tragic death”.
The 18-year-old student killed himself after he broke up with a new girlfriend, an inquest into his death heard last year.
Assistant coroner Myfanwy Buckeridge said he was “a young person embracing adulthood” and had “achieved significantly” to be studying at the university.
In her narrative conclusion, she said she could not record it as suicide.
“Daniel James Green took his own life but the question of intent is inconclusive,” she added.
Also that month, Miranda Williams, a 19-year-old philosophy student at Bristol University, died of an overdose at her halls of residence.
She had struggled with depression and anxiety.
Her family said she took her own life just three weeks into her first term.
Elsa Scaburri was found hanged in March after ‘slowly unravelling’ with depression ( Image: Bristol Post)
An inquest recorded a suicide conclusion.
After the hearing at Avon Coroner’s Court, Miranda’s mother Nikki Williams paid tribute to her “bright and beautiful” daughter.
A month after Daniel and Miranda’s deaths, in November 2016, Kim Long, an 18-year-old fresher at the same university, took his own life.
He had not shown any signs of depression or instability, according to his parents, and had moved to Bristol from his home in Penzance, Cornwall, with a few friends, the Post reported
A coroner recorded a conclusion of suicide, by asphyxiation.
Two months after Kim died, in January 2017, Bristol University neuroscience student Lara Nosiru was discovered in a gorge beneath a 300-foot bridge.
The “extremely bright” 23-year-old, from Essex, had taken some medication and Class A drugs when she plunged off Clifton Suspension Bridge.
The inquest heard that she had suffered from depression for four years and took an overdose the night before her death.
Teenage mum’s four-month-old baby who died while godmother was babysitting had two “non-accidental” leg fractures
In his conclusion, assistant coroner Dr Peter Harrowing said: “The deceased took her own life while under the influence of drugs.”
In March, Elsa Scaburri was found hanged after ‘slowly unravelling’ with depression.
The 21-year-old third-year Bristol University student was said to have gone ‘downhill’ during a year of studying modern languages abroad in Italy.
She felt ‘worthless’ and came back to the UK so she could be with her mother last January where she was diagnosed with clinical depression.
During her treatment doctors said they had ‘no concerns’ Elsa, who was born in Italy but lived with her mum in Salisbury, would kill herself.
But just two months later, the student wrote a ‘suicide note’ and left it on a door handle her home before hanging herself in an isolated barn.
Then, on May 1, UWE student Sam Symons, 19, was found dead in his room at the Wallscourt Park student accommodation, the Post reported .
A coroner ruled his death was a suicide.
It was five months later that James Thomson died.
To view original article click here
Family claim there was a ‘cover up’ at University of the West of England Bristol after student’s suicide — (The Mirror)
Tragic Raven Hunt died in April last year after suffering withdrawal symptoms from Xanax
The distraught family of a student who took her own life have accused a university of “incompetence” and claimed authorities tried to “cover up” her death.
Tragic Raven Hunt died on April 13 last year, but her family say no one from the University of the West of England (UWE) contacted them until her grandfather emailed the vice-chancellor months later.
The student had been struggling with withdrawal symptoms from using Xanax, the Bristol Post reports.
A charity chief now believes the university’s inaction could put Raven’s friends and family at risk.
It was left to Raven’s heartbroken granddad to email the vice-chancellor Steve West three months after the incident before they received a reply.
Ged Flynn, chief executive of charity Papyrus, said the university’s lack of action could have put the lives of Raven’s family and friends at risk.
The university said it “assumed” the family did not want the support during Raven’s inquest and decided not to send anyone as it was not their “normal practice”.
Emmy Hunt / SWNS.com)
Raven’s granddad Richard added: “I think they are incompetent. We’ve had no letter of condolence, nothing from the university until I emailed them.”
A third-year sociology student at UWE, Raven was a self-driven young woman who already had plans for her future. The 21-year-old had wanted to be a social worker and worked tirelessly towards achieving her goal.
When she was 15, she was diagnosed with anxiety and depression while preparing for her GCSE exams. Doctors put her on anti-depressants, and her mood seesawed throughout the next few years. Despite that, she continued to do well in school, and got a place at UWE to study sociology.
Raven was close to her family, especially her mum Emmy. They texted everyday, and Emmy – who brought up her four children singlehandedly – knew something was wrong when Raven did not reply to a message on April 12.
Emmy got in contact with her daughter’s friends, and they launched a search for her. A dog walker found her hanged in Leigh Woods, around 1.45pm on April 13.
Her friends told Raven’s family she had started using Xanax about eight weeks before her death.
They said she was given the drug by another student, and that she had used it as a way to cope with her anxiety issues ahead of her final exams.
But two weeks before her death, she decided to come off the drug but was suffering from its severe withdrawal symptoms.
At the time of James’s death, a spokesman for Bristol University said: “Sadly, we can confirm that one of our students was found dead on October 25.
“The student’s next of kin have been informed, and our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time.