'Suicide website' encouraged Cardiff student nurse to take her own life, parents say

  • Video report by ITV Wales journalist Issa Farfour

The parents of a mental health nurse who took her life after using a suicide website believe she wrote a letter to the local health board just days before her death in a bid to "bring about change".

Bronwen Morgan had criticised mental health services before she died, but the coroner ruled her treatment and care was not a factor in her death.

An inquest heard how the 26-year-old student in Cardiff was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder back in 2019 and concluded that she had died of suicide.

Bronwen's mum Jayne said: "It just beggars belief that there are people out there encouraging people to take their own lives." Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

Her parents Haydn and Jayne say they "respect the coroner's findings" but are frustrated that Bronwen's "whole story couldn't come out".

They are now sharing what happened with ITV Wales in a bid to save lives.

Haydn said: "Ultimately, there were a lot of hurdles put in front of Bronwyn along a couple of years from having a driving licence revoked to threatening of her being arrested for community protection notice.

He added: "I think she just felt hopeless. We lost all hope as a family we couldn't see a way forward. I think that is what ultimately brought on Bronwen's death was that she just lost all hope." 

Bronwen wrote a letter to the health board just a matter of days before she took her life. Her family believes they "wouldn't have really known about all the issues she had if she hadn't done that."

Her dad says she wrote the letter to try to "bring about change" and knew she wasn't going to be here, mentioning: "It is too late."

Bronwen represented Wales in 'white collar' boxing for charity, where she was nicknamed 'Bombproof Bron' Credit: Family photo

Haydn said: "She felt the mental health services were just not performing and the wheel is just turning far too slowly. Things are happening but just far too slowly and people are dying."

Bronwen used a suicide website and was discussing and seeking advice from fellow users, before taking her life.

The coroner has submitted a prevention of future deaths report to the UK and Welsh governments concerning online suicide forums.The family says Bronwen was "very secretive" and "didn't share anything with them", to begin with, but that changed over time.

Bronwen's dad Haydn says she wrote a letter to the health board to try to "bring about change." Credit: Family photo

Her mum Jayne said: "We were quite naive to her problems for quite some time.

"I think it was only when she wasn't able to sort of contain her frustrations and self-harming and her suicide attempts that we became more involved and understood more about her suffering".

She continued: "It just beggars belief that there are people out there encouraging people to take their own lives.

"It's just shocking. I just don't get it at all."

Bronwen Morgan took her own life in August 2020 at the age of 26 while training to be a mental health nurse. Credit: Family picture

The family set up Bronwen's Wish following the loss of their daughter, which is building wellbeing pods in schools.

They hope it will provide a unique and safe space, away from the hustle and bustle of school life where youngsters can open up and talk about their mental health at a young age.

Haydn said: "We weren't taught anything about mental health as children, but I think it's paramount now that they understand and they knew how to look out for each other as well.

"It's not just how they're feeling that they can look after their friends and help if they can see any of their friends are distressed in any way overwhelmed that they can actually have the tools and the skills to be able to assist them."

ITV Wales approached Cardiff and Vale University Health Board for a statement. A spokesperson said: "Our sincere thoughts and heartfelt condolences continue to be with the family and friends of Bronwen at this incredibly sad time.

"As a Health Board, we remain committed to providing safe, quality and compassionate mental health support to individuals across Cardiff and Vale, in both community and inpatient settings.

"As a learning organisation, we are fully receptive to any areas of improvement and will continue to build on the implementations and improvements we have made so far.

"We want to take this opportunity to reassure service users and their families that our clinical teams assess and put in place clinical models of care that are individualised to the service user and these are reviewed regularly to provide the most appropriate treatment based upon their clinical need.

"We would welcome the opportunity to engage with Bronwen’s family to discuss actions and learnings taken by our Health Board, and how we can continue to build on these learnings going forward."

If you have been affected by anything in this article, help and advice can be found here.

  • Samaritans is available day or night, 365 days a year. You can call them for free on 116 123, email them at jo@samaritans.org, or visit www.samaritans.org to find your nearest branch.

  • The Mental Health Helpline for Wales is available to take your call any time, day or night. Freephone 0800 132 737 or text 'help" to 81066 (charged at standard network rate).