Great Britain

Mum, 49, found dead at home an hour after dropping off her children at school

The Sun

SCHOOL RUN TRAGEDY

A MUM found dead at home an hour after dropping off her children at school was suffering from a brain injury sustained in a serious crash, an inquest has heard.

The body of Nicola Pritchard, 49, was discovered by her support worker at 9.45am on February 26 in Stafford.

In September last year she was diagnosed with an adjustment disorder and depression following a brain injury stemming from a crash four years ago, reports the Stoke Sentinel.

Detective Constable Sarah Pritchard told Senior coroner Andrew Haigh that Nicola, "was involved in a serious road traffic collision and sustained a serious brain injury.

"She was last known to be alive on the morning of February 26 when she dropped her children off at school, as she usually did between 8am and 9am.

"She was then found by a support worker who attended at 9.45am and found the front door unlocked.

"She let herself in and got no answer from Nicola.

"When she entered the property she could see that the garage door was ajar. She went outside, opened the garage and found Nicola.

"There was a warm cup of coffee and we believe it had happened not too long before the support worker arrived at the house.

"She had been supporting Nicola from January this year. No note was found."

SERIOUS INCIDENT REVIEW

Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust official Sue Daykin told the South Staffordshire Coroner's Court that Nicola was, "known to the trust six months prior to her death.

"In September 2019, she was diagnosed with an adjustment disorder and depression secondary to a brain injury.

"She had a history of thoughts of self-harm and had tried to commit suicide three times."

Nicola's death has triggered a serious incident review of the trust's response.

At a meeting on February 17, it was agreed that more psychological support and further help would be provided to Nicola with her cooking and cleaning.

But these changes had not been implemented by the time of her death, nine days later.

Senior coroner Andrew Haigh recorded a narrative conclusion.

He told the inquest: "I'm satisfied this was a cry for help.

"She hanged herself while subject to the consequences of a head injury."

YOU'RE NOT ALONE

EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide.

It doesn't discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society - from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.

It's the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.

And men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.

Yet it's rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.

That is why The Sun launched the You're Not Alone campaign.

The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.

Let's all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others... You're Not Alone.

If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:

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