The family of a Manchester teenager who longed to be a professional singer, believe she took her own life because of the coronavirus lockdown.
Beth Palmer was 17, and studying to be a vocal artist at Access Creative College in Manchester. She was found dead at her home in Sale just days after the country was put into lockdown because of the Covid-19 outbreak. Her family say they had no indication that she was struggling with her mental health, other than that she'd expressed a sadness and frustration about not being able to see friends or go to college.
I have no doubt the lockdown has played a major part in Beth's death. She couldn't finish college, she couldn't go out and see her friends. She felt as though this 3-month lockdown was to her 300 years. This three month lockdown I think became an extreme, almost obsessive obsession, that it was never going to end.
Beth's family have spoken exclusively to ITV's Granada Reports in the hope of preventing other deaths from suicide. They fear there will be other teenagers and young people struggling with the imposed isolation and change to their lives, and are desperate to raise awareness of Beth's story to dissuade others from following the same path.
"The devastation is indescribable. It saddens me to say but I don't think she'll be alone, I think they'll be other young adults, teenagers feeling exactly the same, feeling very vulnerable, maybe very scared about the covid-19 situation, having their lives changed. I'd hate to think of another family going through what we're going through now. Even if it puts one child off taking their own life, hopefully no-one should feel isolated enough to do this." >
A page has been set up in memory of Beth - the family hope to use it to start a charitable trust in her name. They've already raised more than £10,000. Their idea is to take mental health first aid into creative colleges and universities to help those students who may be at risk and struggling.The talented singer's Instagram has also recorded more than 52 thousand likes on a recent recording - the family say they are taking great comfort from knowing her musical legacy will live on.
She was a wonderful, wonderful daughter. She was just funny, she lit up the room. She was so affectionate and loving as well. She basically had the world at her feet. She had everything, everything to live for. She was our baby, she was our little girl. It's such a waste of a beautiful life.