Bristol University student ‘had exam worries’ before death

Natasha AbrahartImage copyright Abrahart family
Image caption Natasha Abrahart’s GP said she felt the teenager had a “high risk of ending her life”

A student who was found hanged was worried about being kicked off her course after receiving a lower than expected mark, an inquest heard.

Natasha Abrahart, 20, who was studying physics at the University of Bristol, died on 30 April last year.

Her GP had assessed she had a “high risk of ending her life” and referred her to a mental health crisis team, but they were unable to make contact.

Her parents told Avon Coroner’s Court they “miss her every day”.

In the past three years, 12 University of Bristol students have died.

Eight of the deaths were recorded as suicide, two inquests – including Ms Abrahart’s – are still to take place or be determined and two inquests returned narrative verdicts.

Image caption Margaret and Robert Abrahart gave evidence at the inquest

Ms Abrahart’s mother Margaret told the hearing in Flax Bourton that her daughter was “shy from an early age” which would sometimes result in her “shutting down” when she was faced with situations she found stressful.

She said “asking for help seemed to be very difficult for her” and she saw it as “a personal failure”.

Mrs Abrahart said her daughter was worried about being “kicked off her course” after receiving a lower than expected year-end mark and had begun self-harming.

Ms Abrahart’s GP told the inquest when Ms Abrahart attended an emergency appointment in February last year she was in an “acute state of distress”.

Dr Caroline St John Wright said she felt the student “was at high risk of ending her life” and referred her to the Avon Wiltshire Partnership (AWP) crisis team.

The doctor said the AWP tried to contact Ms Abrahart, but she did not answer her phone.

Image copyright Abrahart family
Image caption Natasha’s parents sad they “miss her every day”

Robert Abrahart told the inquest his daughter had posted on a mental health support site aimed at students saying she felt “distressed” and had “suicidal thoughts”.

He said the day before she died she had sent a text to her boyfriend saying “answer now”, but he was asleep.

After she died, her phone was examined and it was found she had searched the phrase “I wish I was dead” on the internet a week before she died.

The inquest continues.

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