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Parents call for 'full and fearless' investigation into death of daughter studying at Bristol University

Natasha Abrahart was studying for a physics degree. Credit: Family photo

The parents of a student who died whilst studying at the University of Bristol are calling for a "full and fearless investigation" into her death.

Natasha Abrahart, originally from Nottingham, was in her second year when she took her own life on 30 April 2018.

She is one of eleven students at the University who have died by suicide in the last two academic years.

It is difficult for us as parents to accept the enormity and awfulness of what has happened. People at Natasha’s funeral asked, 'Why has this happened?' This is the question we’re now trying to get answered in court. If we understand what happened, we can do something about it.

– Robert and Margaret Abrahart, Natasha's parents

An inquest into the 20-year-old's death is due to take place over three weeks in May 2019.

Robert and Margaret Abrahart say it will be, "a painful, distressing and emotionally draining journey."

They have now launched a crowdfunding appeal, hoping to raise up to £50,000, to fund their legal representation throughout the inquest process.

Natasha Abrahart's parents say they want a Credit: Family photo

The University of Bristol says they are committed to co-operating fully with the Coroner to ensure any lessons learnt are built into the support they provide students.

Mark Ames, Director of Student Services at the University of Bristol, said:

“Mental health is fast emerging as the single biggest public health issue affecting young people today, both here in the UK and globally.

"The scale of the challenges is forcing all universities to re-evaluate every aspect of their student and staff mental health and wellbeing support and provision.

“Here in Bristol, through the introduction of a University-wide approach, we are taking every step we can to work with our students to help them build the life skills and resilience to cope with these pressures, and to proactively identify vulnerable students as early as possible so that we can support them through their mental health issues.”

It is not always easy to tell when someone is at risk of suicide. Here are some warning signs to look out for in others:

The NHS website offers lots of advice on how best to help someone who is suicidal.

If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, you can contact the Samaritans' free 24-hour helpline by dialling 116 123

The NHS website also offers lots of advice here on how best to get help for yourself.