James Murray describes his son Ben as a very kind, gentle giant of a man.
The first-year student at Bristol University had told his father he was worried he would be thrown off his course for lack of attendance. He did not admit he had already been sent a letter that said he was being dismissed.
Ben is one of 12 students at the university to die in three years. At an inquest into his death, the coroner called for universities to “destigmatise” mental health issues after concluding that Ben took his own life.
James Murray has worked with Bristol University to develop a new system to deal with students who need support. Last September, vice-chancellor Hugh Brady brought in an initiative that allows students to opt in to a scheme that would allow staff to contact a friend or relative if there were serious concerns about a student’s mental health. Mr Brady said around 95% of students have signed up.
If you want to know the basics about understanding Mental Health, do take a look at this Online Mental Health Awareness course.