Bristol student death: Parents query lack of support

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image captionUniversity staff knew Natasha Abrahart was "in crisis" before her death, the pre-inquest review heard

A vulnerable university student who told a department manager she had suicidal thoughts did not receive well-being support, a coroner has heard.

Natasha Abrahart, 20, a second year physics student at the University of Bristol, died on 30 April.

A pre-inquest review panel was told she had emailed a student administration manager in February and told her she had tried to take her own life.

Natasha is one of 11 students at the university to die since October 2016.

At the hearing at Avon Coroner's Court, the barrister for Natasha's parents, Robert and Margaret Abrahart, asked if it was "appropriate" their daughter had no contact with the university's well-being service, despite staff in her department being aware she was "in crisis".

He said the family had "real concerns" about the conduct of the university's staff, and the fact its policies and procedures were unchanged since Natasha's death.

He added the family are worried that without action, students may still be at risk when the next term starts in September.

In a statement, their lawyer Gus Silverman said: "The number of recent deaths amongst students at the University of Bristol has been a matter of considerable, and understandable, public concern."

A University of Bristol spokesperson said: "We offer our sincere sympathies to Natasha's family following her tragic death and will co-operate fully with the coroner to ensure any lessons learnt are built into the support we provide our students.

"We are putting in place a structure of preventative services and policies to try and avoid our students reaching crisis point."

Coroner Maria Voisin requested further statements from the university prior to the next pre-inquest review hearing.

The full inquest is expected to take place next year.

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