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Elsa Scaburri Becomes Fifth Bristol University Student Thought To Have Died From Suicide This Year

The 21-year-old's body was found near her home in Wiltshire.

30/03/2017 11:47 | Updated 30 March 2017

A young woman is thought to be the fifth Bristol University student to have died from suicide in the past six months. 

Elsa Scaburri, a third year languages student, died near her home in Wiltshire last week, the university reported in a statement. 

Scaburri, who was studying French and Italian, was half way through her year abroad when she died. 

Elsa Scaburri
Languages student Elsa Scaburri was found dead near her home in Wilshire last week 

A spokesperson for Bristol University said the institution was “very saddened” to hear of the 21-year-old’s death, adding that students’ welfare is its “highest priority”. 

A neighbour of the student’s family told the Daily Mail she was a “lovely girl” who was “bright and outward going”.

The other four deaths at the prestigious Russell Group university, since the academic year began in September, have included three freshers.

Philosophy student Miranda Williams, 19, Daniel Green, 18, and law undergraduate Kim Long, 18, were all found dead within weeks of starting their first semester at Bristol. 

The body of final year neuroscience student Lara Nosiru, 23, was discovered at the bottom of the Avon Gorge in January. 

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Scaburri is the fifth Bristol University student thought to have died by suicide in the last six months 

The university has launched a review into student mental health issues, set to be published in the spring. 

A Bristol University spokesperson said: “We understand from her family that Elsa took her own life, although it will be for the coroner to determine the cause of death.

“The university offers its condolences to her family and friends and our thoughts are with them at this very sad time.

“The welfare of our students and staff continues to be our highest priority and it is distressing for all members of the university community that one of our students has died.

“We would urge any students affected by this tragic incident to seek support from university services, friends or family.” 

They added: “In the context of increasing national concerns about student mental health we have been working with our staff and students to review how best to support all students’ including those with enduring mental health difficulties.

“We have increased staffing levels in our support services and have committed to invest an additional £1 million per year to provide wellbeing support for students in each academic school. We will also be signing the Time to Change pledge to help reduce the stigma of discussing mental health issues.”  

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Mental health charity YoungMinds said students' mental health must be taken 'just as seriously' as their physical health

An inquest into Scaburri’s death has been postponed until a later date. 

Tom Madders, campaign director at youth mental health charity YoungMinds, said mental health “has to be taken just as seriously as physical health at universities”. 

“Students face all sorts of pressures – often they’re living away from home for the first time, and having to deal with financial hardship as well as pressure to achieve academically,” he said.

“Students might also be feeling anxious about body image, relationships or round-the-clock social media.

Madders added: “Young people often find it hard to open up when they’re struggling to cope, but if you’re finding life difficult you are not alone.

“Talking to someone you can trust is the first step – it could be a friend, a family member, a teacher, a doctor, a counsellor or a helpline. Visit the YoungMinds website for more about you can find help.”

Useful websites and helplines:

Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123 UK and ROI - this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill.)

Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393.

Get Connected is a free advice service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email: help@getconnected.org.uk 

HopeLine runs a confidential advice helpline if you are a young person at risk of suicide or are worried about a young person at risk of suicide. Mon-Fri 10-5pm and 7pm-10pm. Weekends 2pm-5pm on 0800 068 41 41.

Maytree is a sanctuary for the suicidal in north London in a non-medical setting. For help or to enquire about a stay, call 020 7263 7070. 

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