Heartbroken mom wants universities to tell parents about students’ mental issues

Durham – A heartbroken mother whose “beautiful and funny” student daughter killed herself wants parents to be told if their children suffer with anxiety at university.

Alexandra Wilshaw, 21, was in her third year at Durham University when she hanged herself in her room.

The mathematics undergraduate was said to have been happy and was in a relationship when she died in March last year.

But Wilshaw, who was a member of the university’s cheerleading team, had been attending counselling sessions before her death. An inquest heard that she had previously tried to kill herself, although her family had no idea about the extent of her troubles. Her mother Carol Fowkes, 51, has now spoken about her grief and called for parents to be informed if their children suffer mental health issues while studying.

She said: “Alexandra was a bubbly and outgoing girl. She was actually quite loud and funny. And she was beautiful. She did some tutoring to GCSE students, she was in a cheerleading squad. We never knew there was anything wrong.

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