Candlelit vigils held in remembrance of university students who took their own lives

Campaigners and the families of some of those who took their own lives at university are calling on universities to improve the level of care and support they provide for their students

Candlelit vigils took place in London, Edinburgh, and Bristol to remember university students who took their own lives.

The vigils, organised by ForThe100, coincided with the campaign's plea for people to sign a petition calling for universities to improve the level of care and support they provide for their students.

Every year, around 100 university students are lost to suicide in the UK.

Summer Lytton Cobbold, a student and ForThe100 campaigner, said: "It does exist in schools and in workplaces and prisons even, but not universities and I don't understand why that is because I feel like students at university are one of the most vulnerable, you're at a very vulnerable stage of your life."

Hilary Grime, whose daughter Phoebe died by suicide in 2021, is part of the campaign calling for a legal duty of care at universities, and a framework that can be followed by all places of higher education.

Hilary spoke to ITV News' Sam Holder Credit: ITV News

Phoebe Grime, 20, was a student at Newcastle University. After her death, it was revealed she had contacted the university multiple times to say she was struggling.

Hilary told ITV News: "20 hours before Phoebe died the last adult she saw was a university counsellor. Phoebe put her hand on her heart and said that she wished the pain to end. The counsellor contacted nobody."

Phoebe told twelve different people, Hilary said, and added as far as she can see, "there is absolutely nothing more [Phoebe] could have done".

In a statement, a Newcastle University spokesperson said: "The coroner in Phoebe's inquest could not identify any point where things could have been done differently by the university. Nonetheless, we continuously seek to improve support services."

Who to contact if you or someone you know needs help:

  • Samaritans operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year, by calling 116 123. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at

  • Papyrus offers support for children and young people under the age of 35 over the phone on 0800 068 41 41 between 9am and midnight every day of the year. If you would rather text you can do so on 07786 209697 or send an email to

  • Mind also offers mental health support between 9am and 6pm, Monday to Friday. You can call them on 0300 123 3393 or text them on 86463. There is also lots of information available on their website.

  • Hector's House is a suicide and crisis prevention and help resource, with links to specialist helplines.

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