A FAMILY tragedy lies behind Theresa May’s campaign to boost Britain’s mental health services, The Sun On Sunday can reveal.
The PM’s niece Vikki McQuaid was just 20 when she was found lifeless in bed by her mother Cathy — sister of Mrs May’s husband Philip.
Earlier this year Theresa May announced a massive expansion of young people’s mental health care[/caption]
Hours earlier Vikki, who was also Mrs May’s goddaughter, had tearfully told a friend she feared she could never have a baby following two miscarriages.
An inquest heard she left a note which read: “I’m sorry, it’s unbearable without children”.
A post-mortem revealed Vikki had taken a combination of two over-the-counter drugs — and that each dose was potentially fatal.
Mum Cathy told the inquest she did not believe her daughter intentionally took her own life.
She said: “Victoria could be very impulsive and often didn’t think things through. I don’t think she meant to kill herself.”
Mrs May, 62, has never spoken publicly about the loss of her niece.
Earlier this year she announced a massive expansion of young people’s mental health care as the flagship policy of her long-term NHS plan.
She has also appointed Jackie Doyle-Price as the UK’s first Minister for Suicide Prevention and pledged up to £1.8million to support The Samaritans helpline.
She started crying and she believed she would never be able to have a baby
Vikki’s body was found on August 18, 2013. She had visited close friend Laura Watts the night before.
Laura said: “She started crying and she believed she would never be able to have a baby.”
The inquest heard that one of the babies Vikki lost had been fathered by her boyfriend Ziggy Matheson.
She returned to her family home in Bodmin, Cornwall, with Ziggy, the last person to see her alive.
He told the inquest Vikki was fun-loving and would help anyone. But that night she was not herself and was not sleeping well.
He said he left the following morning believing she was sleeping heavily and did not take any notice of a note left in the room.
Recording an open verdict, Cornwall coroner Dr Emma Carlyon said that although there may have been an implication in Vikki’s note that she intended to kill herself, there was not enough evidence to prove that conclusion.
Workers too busy for help
A third of workers say their mental health deteriorated last year — but they were too busy with their jobs to get help.
And 40 per cent of workers have missed a mental health appointment because of their work, a survey of 2,000 people by health firm Mynurva found.
Half of those quizzed said they did not feel like they could speak about their problems at the office.
Dr Zain Sikafi, Mynurva founder, said: “It is concerning to see that employees feel they are too busy to be able to leave work and get help for their mental health problems.”
Launching her campaign last October, the PM said she entered Downing Street to fight “burning injustices”.
She added: “There are few greater examples than the injustices facing those with mental health issues.
“But together we can change that. We can end the stigma that has forced too many to suffer in silence.
“We can prevent the tragedy of suicide taking too many lives.
“And we can give the mental wellbeing of our children the priority it so profoundly deserves.”
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Vikki is the second of the PM’s goddaughters to die at a young age.
Teresa Brasier — the daughter of one of Mrs May’s cousins — succumbed to cancer at the age of 47 in December 2017.
Teresa’s death was cited by the PM as she announced a new NHS initiative to fight cancer. She said: “We will increase the early detection rate from one-in-two today to three-in-four by 2028.
Theresa May appointed Jackie Doyle-Price as the UK’s first British Suicide Prevention Minister[/caption]
WHERE TO GET HELP
If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:
- CALM, www.thecalmzone.net, 0800 585 858
- Heads Together, www.headstogether.org.uk
- Mind, www.mind.org.uk, 0300 123 3393
- Papyrus, www.papyrus-uk.org, 0800 068 41 41
- Samaritans, www.samaritans.org, 116 123
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