The NHS has admitted failing an 18-year-old student who took her life mere weeks into her first year of university, after a battle with depression.
Lauren Smith, from Kent and a student at University of Wales Trinity St David, was found in her room last November, following a history of self harming.
Kent and Medway NHS Trust has now admitted it could have done more to manage Lauren's transfer to Wales. "Further review has highlighted that more could have been done to gather information from other mental health services that had seen Lauren in the past," a spokesperson said.
Lauren Smith was 'failed' by the NHS
At the inquest, Lauren's mother Laura warned there is a lack of support for teenagers suffering from mental health issues who move to university and they are at risk of "slipping through the cracks", the BBC reported.
"There seems to be complacency among mental health professionals when it comes to adolescent mental health - for instance, I was told by one hospital psychiatrist that lots of teenage girls harm themselves, it doesn't mean they're going to do anything," she said.
The warning comes after a recent Huffington Post UK investigation into the lack of university support for depressed students. One university saw a 107% increase in students seeking help but had cut service funding by thousands of pounds.
Leading experts also warned stigma around mental health is stopping students who suffer with depression from seeking help, leaving many feeling isolated and alone.
Laura Smith said she hoped the death of her daughter would spare others from the "agony".
"There were many opportunities for the outcome to have been different for Lauren," she said at the inquest.
"I hope that other vulnerable young people and their families can be spared the additional agony of what ifs? by ensuring that further deaths of those slipping through the cracks - as they transition between Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Adult Services - are prevented."
DEPRESSION AT UNIVERSITY:
A spokesman for the University in Wales Trinity St David said it had a comprehensive range of support services for students in place, which included mental health advisers, mentors and counsellors.
"These services are provided as soon as the university is made aware of any support needs that our students might have," he said.
Useful websites and helplines:
Samaritans, open 24 hours a day, on 08457 90 90 90
Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393
Students Against Depression, a website by students, for students.
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
Mental Wealth UK To join the community or launch a student group contact the charity on firstname.lastname@example.org