Natasha Abrahart inquest: Uni stress in 'nobody's interests'

Natasha Abrahart Image copyright Abrahart family
Image caption Natasha Abrahart made several attempts to take her own life, the inquest heard

Putting anxious students through stressful presentations is in "nobody's interests", a university boss has told an inquest.

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

The student was due to give a presentation as part of her physics course shortly before she died.

Director of student services Mark Ames said these should not happen if the student is at "significant risk".

The inquest at Avon Coroners' Court has heard Miss Abrahart had sought help from her GP and from the university's student welfare service.

The coroner was told the student had contacted the welfare service but had only received one reply and no follow up.

A member of staff from the physics department later drove her to see a GP.

Giving evidence, Mr Ames said: "There is an inevitable balance between academic integrity, integrity of assessment and ensuring students aren't being disadvantaged that needs to be considered at an individual level.

"The rationale for students giving presentations is to give them skills that will be useful for future life - also the case that when that is unduly stressful, we will consider.

"Clearly it's in nobody's interest for us to insist on an assessment if we feel it will put them at significant risk. Discussions between teams are common practice and will continue to be in the future."

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.

The inquest was adjourned until Thursday when coroner Maria Voisin will give her determination.

For help and support on mental health visit the BBC Advice pages.

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