Woman killed herself after mental health worsened in lockdown, inquest hears | UK news

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The death of a woman who took her own life after her mental health issues worsened during the Covid pandemic, has been described as a “tragedy” at an inquest.

In recent years, Julie Sharrock, 59, had struggled with depression, which was exacerbated by the coronavirus lockdown. On 18 September, Sharrock wrote that she could not cope with the isolation and was afraid of going outside.

The mother of two had worked in the accident and emergency department of the Royal Albert Edward infirmary in Wigan, having previously worked in retail. Following the breakdown of a relationship in 2015, Sharrock’s mental health struggles became apparent.

Following a suicide attempt in 2016, Sharrock was diagnosed with clinical depression, and did not work again after that.

The inquest heard that Sharrock’s sister became worried that she “was not looking after herself as she did before the Covid-19 lockdown because it added to her anxiety levels”. Bolton coroners court heard that Sharrock found it hard to do routine grocery shopping, as it would leave her in an “agitated state”.

Her family continued to stay in contact with Sharrock every day to support her. A little over a week before her death, Sharrock told her mother and sister that she was “struggling”. Her sister said that her mental health has deteriorated to the extent that she was “struggling to go to to the bins and do household chores”, which was not her “normal behaviour”.

The coroner, Alan Walsh, concluded that her death was a result of suicide. He said: “From the time of lockdown, her isolation became a great problem”

“Although she did have contact with her family available on a daily basis, and when lockdown restrictions lifted somewhat her family took her out, she felt she was isolated and then she became in fear of the outside.

“It is extremely sad that she felt lonely, isolated and in fear of the outside. I find it a great tragedy that a lady of her age should end her life in these circumstances.”

In a statement read to the court, Sharrock’s sister Karen said: “We all miss Julie, she was loved by her family and friends and she will be greatly missed.”

In the UK and Ireland, Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org or jo@samaritans.ie. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is 13 11 14. Other international helplines can be found at www.befrienders.org.

Hafta Ichi
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Woman killed herself after mental health worsened in lockdown, inquest hears | UK news

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