Family in call for action over student’s suicide
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.