Fam­ily in call for ac­tion over stu­dent’s sui­cide

The Sunday Telegraph - - News - By Eleanor Steafel

THE mother of a man who took his own life while study­ing at Ox­ford Univer­sity is call­ing for an over­haul of the way that uni­ver­si­ties sup­port stu­dents suf­fer­ing from men­tal ill­ness.

An­drew Kirk­man was just 20 when his body was found in a tent in the city’s Port Meadow in 2013, in the De­cem­ber of his sec­ond year at Bal­liol Col­lege, where he was a gifted physics and phi­los­o­phy stu­dent.

Days be­fore, An­drew had been told to take med­i­cal leave af­ter ad­mit­ting to a GP that he had been strug­gling to cope and had thoughts of self-harm, though the col­lege says it was not aware that his men­tal health had de­te­ri­o­rated to this ex­tent.

His mother, Wendy, is now call­ing for all uni­ver­si­ties to ad­dress what she be­lieves are se­ri­ous gaps in the sup­port that they of­fer men­tally ill stu­dents.

Mrs Kirk­man, from Hert­ford­shire, said: “I would like to see all uni­ver­si­ties have men­tal health spe­cial­ists avail­able all the time.” She is cur­rently await­ing the re­sults of a case re­view.

The fam­ily has taken part in a BBC3 doc­u­men­tary set to air from tonight.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.