A CORONER has slammed university staff for not supporting a clinically depressed student with an eating disorder who took her own life.

Lucy Spears, 22, was studying mental health nursing at Brighton University when she hanged herself.

After being diagnosed with anorexia in October 2017 and being prone to “fluctuating moods” throughout her teenage years, Ms Spears was known to have made several attempts to take her own life in the days leading up to her death.

Her close friend Kayley Brown found Ms Spears’ body hanged in her bedroom in Wembley Gardens, Lancing at about 9.30am on May 9 last year.

An inquest at Centenary House in Crawley heard she had taken a drug overdose at the age of 17 and suffered from depression and anxiety.

She had also been seriously injured in an accident on March 20 last year. She was on her bike when she was hit by a van.

Her father Colin said she loved cycling but was forced to stop after the accident, which made things harder for her.

Coroner Penelope Schofield said: “Here we have a student that clearly has mental health issues and there is no proactive engagement from the university whatsoever.

“She was struggling with her anxiety and her work and where is the evidence of support for this vulnerable person?

“University staff have a duty of care to their students and I have seen nothing to prove the support available in this case.”

Ms Schofield said she was shocked to find Ms Spears was turned away from a meeting at the university to discuss student support.

At that time she had two broken arms and a broken jaw from the cycling accident yet was asked to return with evidence to prove she needed support.

Days after the accident her psychologist Lin Creasey, from East Brighton Mental Health, referred her to a crisis team run by the

Sussex Partnership Trust because she had suicidal thoughts.

Brighton University was notified about the crisis team and arranged an appointment with Ms Spears two weeks later, May 11, two days after she killed herself.

Ms Schofield concluded: “Lucy who had been diagnosed with an eating disorder took her own life around May 9.

“Her mental health had been really affected by the road collision, following which there was no welfare support by the university at this time.”

She said she was not satisfied with measures taken by the university to support students in need such as Ms Spears.

She adjourned the inquest until March and demanded a “prevention of future deaths report” where the university must supply evidence of the support measures in place for students.