SUICIDE EPIDEMIC: Five deaths in a row rock one small town
BRITAIN'S prestigious Bristol University has been rocked by more unfavourable publicity after the death of 21-year-old Elsa Scaburri was ruled a suicide at a coronial inquest yesterday.
The third-year student was found dead in an isolated barn near her family's Wiltshire home on March 20 - two months after returning from a year studying modern languages in Italy as part of her degree.
Ms Scaburri is the fifth student at the university to die by their own hand since the beginning of the academic year.
The spate of deaths began with Maxine Wiley, 23, who was found dead in her Bristol flat on September 2.
Law student Kim Long, 18, was found dead with his hands tied behind his back inside his halls of residence on November 10 after leaving a suicide note for his parents.
On October 10, philosophy student Miranda Williams, 19, was found dead after she overdosed on a cocktail of drugs at the university. A suicide note was found in her room.
Freshman Daniel Green, 18, was found dead in his room just 11 days later. An inquest found that the first year ancient history student killed himself after breaking up with his girlfriend.
Bristol University launched an inquiry into the mental health of its students after 23-year-old neuroscience student Lara Nosiru was also found dead in Avon on January 30.
Tragically, it wasn't enough to prevent the death of Ms Scaburri less than eight weeks later.
In delivering his suicide finding, Coroner Dr Ian Singleton said the young woman went "downhill rapidly" during a year in Italy studying modern languages.
Ms Scaburri's depression intensified to the point where she felt "worthless" and she made the decision to return to England in January to be with her mother.
Dr Singleton said Ms Scaburri, who was described as "gifted" by her tutors, was diagnosed with clinical depression.
Doctors who treated Ms Scaburri told the inquest they had "no concerns" about her trying to suicide.
On March 20, she penned a suicide note and left it on the door handle of her mother's Salisbury home before killing herself in an isolated barn less than a kilometre away.
A statement from Dr Fiona Hayes, who had treated Elsa, was read out at the inquest, The Mirror reported.
"Elsa told me she felt like a fraud and could not do the things everyone thought she could do," she said.
A statement from another GP, Dr Shruthi Guruswamy, said Mss Scaburri told her she "cried most days" and felt "worthless" but did not show suicidal signs.
"Elsa told me 'I've lost my routine' and was crying most days. Her mood was worse in mornings and she had low energy levels," Dr Guruswamy said.
"She felt like she had nothing to say to anyone and felt like she was worth nothing. I asked her if she had thoughts about suicide and she denied this as well as any thoughts about self harm.
"She said her thoughts were stuck and her brain just felt foggy. At the time I had no concerns about her safety and she made it clear to me her family were her safety."
If you or someone you love is in crisis or needs support right now, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467.
Young people aged 5 to 25 years can call Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800
You can also visit communitiesmatter.com.au for information and resources on how to get help and give help.