A YOUNG woman was found dead in the woods after being active in a WhatsApp group discussing methods of suicide, an inquest heard.

Amy Springer, who was found dead in woods near Portslade cricket club in Benfield Valley, Portslade on March 21, had been in touch with people who discussed self-harm via the mobile messaging site.

The inquest heard that three other people connected to the group had taken their own life. Although the 20-year-old had several diagnoses, including autism, emotionally unstable personality disorder and complex PTSD, she is said to have been “doing better” in the weeks before her death.

Recording a verdict of suicide, the coroner said that despite the best efforts of her family, and support staff at her home in Hove she “could not extricate herself from a pattern of behaviour”, which included self-harm and frequent disappearances.

Amy had been reported missing 15 times in 2020 and three times in 2021 and had committed self-harm on several of these occasions.

A psychiatric report stated she was recognised as being at risk and she was part of a WhatsApp group discussing methods of suicide

She was reported missing from her supported living accommodation on Friday, March 19 and officers from Sussex Police carried out a search of her bedroom but found no clues to Amy’s whereabouts and nothing to suggest what her intentions were. Her cause of death was given as asphyxiation.

Coroner Dr Karen Henderson described her death as a tragedy and said Amy was suffering from “very severe and life-limiting trauma” which stemmed from her childhood and the death of her older brother David at the age of six.

She said: “She was no doubt deeply loved. But throughout her life she suffered many difficulties and challenges that had a considerable impact on her ability to navigate her teenage years and the early years of adulthood. In the background was a very severe and life-limiting trauma from her childhood. "No doubt it caused her considerable pain that she was unable to overcome," the coroner added at Woodvale Coroner's Court.

If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this report the Samaritans charity has a free helpline you can call on 116 123.

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