Bristol student dies by suicide, the seventh in 16 months 1 year ago

Bristol student dies by suicide, the seventh in 16 months

Seven students at Bristol university have taken their lives since October 2016.

The death of Justin Cheng was confirmed last night. The law student is believed to be the seventh undergraduate to die by suicide in the past 16 months.

His sister Tiffany announced his death on Facebook, writing "My brother... suffered from severe depression which eventually led t his passing."

Mark Ames, Director of Student Services at the University of Bristol, said: “I am very sorry to confirm that Justin Cheng, a third year Law student from Canada, has died. The police have told us they believe he took his own life.

"There were no suspicious circumstances and the coroner will hold an inquest in due course. Our thoughts and sympathies are with his family and friends.

“Justin’s family have requested privacy at this very difficult time.”

Six other students died by suicide at the university between October 2016 and October 2017, three of whom did so in their first term at Bristol.

Miranda Williams, a philosophy student, died in hospital after an overdose on October 10 2016. Historian Daniel Green was found hanging on October 21. Kim Long, a law fresher died of asphyxiation in halls on November 10.


Final year neuroscientist Lara Nosiru was found dead in the Avon Gorge on January 30 2017. A coroner said "she took her own life whilst under the influence of drugs."

Elsa Scaburri was a third year languages student, she was found hanged near her Salisbury home on March 20, which an inquest ruled as suicide. Second year mathematician James Thomson was found hanged on October 25.

Investigations by university news network The Tab square the blame directly with the university's support services, finding that University of Bristol students have one of the worst satisfaction rates for provision of care.

Two whistleblowing student helpers, typically postgraduates who live in halls of residence, also warned that the university was "sweeping student mental health problems under the rug."

Mark Ames said: “If students or staff are affected by this tragic news, we would encourage them to contact University support services as well as seek support from friends or family. Information about where to get help can be found on our website under staff and student pages.

“We will continue to work with our students, staff and with partners across the city including colleagues from public health and the NHS to enhance our services in response to the unprecedented rise in mental health difficulties amongst young people.

The university has been reviewing its mental health provision, spending around £1 million on wellbeing advisers and hiring a team of 28 mental health advisers and managers.

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