York Students Who Died Within Days Of Each Other 'Both Suffered From Depression'

York University's student union
York University's student union

Inquests have been launched into the recent deaths of two students at York University who died within days of each other, and of whom both are said to have suffered from depression.

Alexander Hurry, a first-year Sociology undergraduate, was found dead on Sunday, whilst the body of third-year Archaeology student Saher Ahmad was found on Friday in an off-campus property.

The University of York stated it was "greatly saddened" by the deaths, and Dr Barry Thomas - the Principal of Hurry's and Ahmad's own Vanbrugh college - expressed "very much regret" at their lives being cut short "in such a tragic way".

Early reports of the investigation came from chief coroner, Jonathan Leach, who noted that Hurry had a history of alcohol abuse and was suffering from depression, student paper York Nouse reported.

Leach also claimed that Ahmad had a similar history of depression, having been prescribed medication for it in the past.

The possible involvement of mental illness would be poignantly timed: Wednesday 18 February saw the celebration of University Mental Health Day in 50 campuses across the country.

One of the organisers of the event, Student Minds, also released the findings of an Equality Challenge Unit report, which concluded that 60% of students and 50% of staff suffering from mental health problems do not report them to the university authorities.

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
  • Young Minds offers information to young people about mental health and emotional wellbeing
  • 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 10-5pmand 7pm-10pm. Weekends 2pm-5pm on 0800 068 41 41
  • HeadMeds - a straight-talking website on mental health medication
  • Student Minds supports students across the UK to bring about positive change on their campuses through campaigning and facilitating peer support programmes. To join the community or launch a student group contact the charity on

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