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Diss Sixth Form student's death was suicide, inquest concludes

A 17-year-old student took her own life, an inquest heard on Monday, November 4.

Grace Clare, of Moorlands Cross Road in Banham, was found dead at her home on April 6.

The Diss Sixth Form student was last seen by her mum Kate and stepfather David Bates the night before, when the family ate pizza and watched a film together.

Grace was found dead at her home on April 6.
Grace was found dead at her home on April 6.

Grace had a history of mental health issues from the age of six and had suffered from depression and self-harm, for which she was treated by various counsellors and GPs, the inquest heard.

The teen had nine consultations with GPs and nurses in the year leading up to her death and was also prescribed antidepressants.

Described by her mum as "fiercely independent", Grace was known to be a stellar student during her GCSEs but had started to struggle with her A-levels.

The 17-year-old, who wanted to be a therapist or psychologist in the future, was described by her a friend as "one of the smartest people I know" but as "never 100 per cent happy".

In a statement read out at Norfolk Coroner's Court in Norwich, Mrs Bates said that she noticed a real change in her daughter two months before her death, when she became more introverted.

"My happy, chatty daughter was just very different," she said.

Grace had previously thought about suicide in 2017, but the thought of her cat stopped her, the inquest was told.

In the weeks leading up to her death, she had been described as very happy, but area coroner Yvonne Blake explained that this was common among people planning to kill themselves.

She said: "Many people who have made the decision to end their life feel as if a weight has lifted and they feel relieved that there is an end in sight."

Ms Blake concluded that Grace died as a result of suicide and said she was satisfied the care she received from mental health services and her GP was good.

Addressing the family, who were present at the inquest, she said: "I am so sorry. This is just a dreadful thing. You don't get over it but maybe you will learn to live with it a little better. My condolences to Grace's family and friends."

No suicide note was found but a pro/con list was later discovered citing flying, nature and tattoos as reasons to live and self-doubt and worry that she would not get good A-level grades as some of the reasons to die.

READ MORE: Inquest into the death of man found in Diss churchyard set to open

No traces of drugs or alcohol were found in her blood, apart from a dose of antidepressants found in a therapeutic range.

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