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The report said eight students had sought help for mental health problems

A report into the death of 14 students who had taken their own lives found eight had already sought help for mental health issues.

The report, released by the University of the West of England, Bristol, into the deaths were mostly among white male students whose average age was 21.

Half of the group had also resat exams or “submitted extenuating circumstances forms” during their university time.

The conclusions will go towards the university’s suicide prevention plan.

The report comes after at least 13 students in Bristol are thought to have taken their own lives since 2016.

Deaths probed

Many of those students were from UWE’s neighbouring establishment, the University of Bristol.

The deaths investigated in the UWE report range from 2010 to the summer of 2018 and do not include deaths at the city’s other university.

While the report has not recommended actions it has highlighted issues which could help identify students at risk.

Those included people transferring from other courses, students repeating a year’s studies, and some who had problems with debt, all of which should be seen as “possible flags”, it said.

Other issues that could show “students in need” included alcohol and substance misuse and relationship breakdowns.

In the report, three of the group had previously self-harmed or attempted to take their own lives.

No cluster identified

In two cases the report said greater “skills and confidence” among students to highlight “severe cause for concern” might have helped.

The investigation said there was no cluster identified, and that one of the 14 included was no longer registered with the university at the time of their death.

Another student’s inquest recorded a narrative verdict rather than that of suicide, but both were still included within the report.

The report also warned that it was “based on a small sample size, rendering it difficult to draw clear conclusions”.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics for 2017 – the most recent available – show at least 95 university students in England or Wales took their own lives across the year.

If you are struggling to cope, contact the Samaritans on the free helpline 116 123, or please click on this link to access support services.

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