Blogger and mental health advocate Beth Matthews has died after “ingesting” something at a mental health unit in Stockport, an inquest has heard. The 26-year-old sadly passed away on March 21 this year.
At the time of her death, hundreds of people paid their respects to Beth, a support worker from Menheniot near Liskeard. Friends and family gathered at the church in Landulph, near Saltash, on April 13 to say a final goodbye to Beth.
The funeral was reportedly a celebration of the Devonport High School alumnus’ life. A pre-inquest, held by area coroner Chris Morris at the Manchester South Coroner’s Office on Thursday June 9, heard how a ‘serious incident’ took place at the Priory Unit in Cheadle Royal, Stockport .
Read more: Mental health support and where to seek help
Beth was transferred to Wythenshawe Hospital following the incident, where she died, MEN reports. Beth’s parents Jane and Chris, sister Lucy and former partner Matt were all in attendance at the hearing via an online meetings platform.
Beth’s family is represented at the inquest by Stephen Jones. One of the issues her family wants to explore in the inquest into Beth’s death is a 2019 attempt to take her own life.
Mr Jones told the court that Beth was dissuaded from a bridge and hospitalized for two days before returning to the same bridge and trying to end her life. Physical health issues left over from that incident, including nerve damage, broken bones and paralysis of parts of her body, reportedly took a heavy toll on Beth.
Mr Jones told the court there was evidence showing ‘Beth felt quite depressed because she recognized that she would not be doing any more rehab from these injuries’ – key evidence her family wanted see taken into account. The family also wants to hear from the ward doctor who “helped immediately with the aftermath of Beth’s ingestion” on the day of her death.
Claire Smith, police coroner’s officer at Manchester South Coroners Court, told the hearing that police inquiries were still ongoing, with officers trying to establish “whether any offenses took place in relation to the death of Miss Matthews”. An investigation by the Care Quality Monitoring Commission (CQC) is also underway, with the investigator having full access to the procedure to help them reach their conclusions.
If you need help or support, you can reach the Samaritans at 116 123
An independent party is also undertaking an inquest into Beth’s care on behalf of the Priory, with the findings to be shared in full with the coroner’s court before Beth’s inquest is heard. A finalized post-mortem report is also required, after Beth’s inquest opened hearing that consultant pathologist Dr Andrew Yates said the cause of death was “uncertain” at the time.
At the time of her death, the Priory was undertaking a safeguard review surrounding Beth’s care after the Cornwall support worker made allegations to the healthcare trust. The nature of these allegations was not disclosed at the inquest hearing, but Miss Shepherd, representing the Priory Group, confirmed that investigation into the matters had been dropped.
Mr Morris ordered the inquest to be held before a jury as he felt Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights was ‘so manifestly engaged’ in this case as Beth was in the custody of the State at the time because she was detained. under section three of the Mental Health Act. He said: “Beth was detained under section 3 of the Mental Health Act, her leave was very restricted, she was allowed under section 17 to go out once a week to a place specific where she would be accompanied by a driver and two members of staff, and she was the subject of individual observations on the basis of constant sight with one or two members of staff.This will be an investigation in which the article two applies.
Prior to her death, Beth had spent several years blogging about her experience with her mental health, discussing a suicide attempt in April 2019 that left her with various injuries in a blog titled Life Beyond the Ledge and on her Twitter account. . In one of the last messages she posted on her account, she said: “It’s ironic that the injuries I suffered from a suicide attempt (nerve damage, broken bones, paralyzed bladder , paralyzed bowel, paralyzed foot, chronic pain, etc.) which is why I am now suicidal.
She shared raw accounts of her recovery and helped others struggling with mental health issues. Beth, who loved spending time outdoors, had amassed 26,300 Twitter followers and built her own following through her brutally honest blog posts.
In her latest tweet, which has now gone viral, Beth shared how she was “struggling so much” and apologized to her followers for “being so negative”. Hundreds of people have since shared their condolences on the wire.
Beth’s pinned tweet praised the “brave cop who saved” her life in 2019. She wrote, “Today I have to thank and hug the brave cop who saved my life. Good she saw me fall 50 feet off a bridge she ran and held my hand until I was airlifted to the hospital That moment meant the world and made me feel reminded how grateful I am to be alive.
The Devon and Cornwall Police Officer offered his condolences to Beth’s friends, family and supporters at the time of Beth’s passing. She said she knew Beth had helped “so many people.”
She said: “I often kept Beth close to my thoughts after the first time we met. She was a kind and very honest person, speaking openly about her struggles which I know helped and supported so many people.
“She was a huge supporter of all emergency services and I know her passing will affect many. My thoughts are with her family and friends.”
Mental Health UK released a statement on Twitter after hearing the sad news. The charity’s social media account said Beth’s mental health advocacy would be “remembered forever”. It read: “Our thoughts and condolences are with the friends and family of Beth Matthews today. Beth’s mental health work and advocacy has touched and helped many, and her commitment will forever remain in memories.”
The inquest, which is expected to last two weeks, has been tentatively scheduled for January 2023, with proceedings to take place before a jury. Another pre-inquest review will take place on August 30 before Deputy Coroner Andrew Bridgman, who will hear the full inquest.
Where to get help for mental health
There are dozens of places to get help online, including online chats, text help, phone calls, and even apps with games to help you manage your feelings. If you need help or just want to know what’s available to you, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of a number of services here.
Below are some of the helplines and websites that can help you.
Samaritans (116,123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write how you feel or are worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at [email protected]
Pete’s Dragons (01395 277780) provides expert support and advice to people affected by suicide in any way by telephone or email to [email protected]
Child line (0800 1111) runs a helpline for children and young people in the UK. Calls are free and the number will not appear on your phone bill.
PAPYRUS (0800 068 41 41) is a voluntary organization that talks openly about suicide and supports teens and young adults who are having suicidal thoughts. You can also get in touch with Papyrus by text on 07786 209697 or by email via [email protected]
The opening hours are as follows; 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays, 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. weekends, 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. on public holidays.
Depression Alliance is a charity for people suffering from depression. It does not have a helpline, but offers a wide range of useful resources and links to other relevant information. http://www.depressionalliance.org/
Students Against Depression is a website for students who are depressed, in a low mood, or have suicidal thoughts. Bullying UK is a website for children and adults who are victims of bullying. http://studentsagainstdepression.org/
The Sanctuary (0300 003 7029) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year, for people who are struggling to cope – suffering from depression, anxiety, panic attacks or in crisis.
Andy’s Man Club now has four groups across Devon (Plymouth, Newton Abbot, Torbay, Exeter). It offers men a safe, non-judgmental and confidential place to chat and get rid of everything. To access it during lockdown, any male over 18 can email [email protected]
South-West pool provides integrated health and social care services to people in Plymouth and other parts of the region. For anxiety and depression inquiries, please email [email protected]
If you are concerned about your mental health or that of a loved one or friend, you can call the helpline at 0800 923 9323, which is Livewell’s first response service. He is available to contact 24/7 by calling 0800 923 9323. Livewell also runs Chathealth, an SMS service used by health visitors and school nurses to support families and young people.
The service is available Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., excluding public holidays. Outside of business hours, anyone who texts the service will receive an automated message telling them where to get help if their question is urgent.
Livewell ChatHealth 0-5 years Parents Service – 07480 635188
Livewell ChatHealth 5-10 years Parents Service – 07480 635189
Livewell ChatHealth Youth Service 11-19 years old – 07480 635198
CRI (85258) is a 24/7 crisis texting service in the UK when people feel they need immediate help. By texting “SHOUT” to “85258”, a Texter will be connected to a trained Crisis Volunteer (CV) who will chat with them using trained SMS techniques. For help or to learn more about how Shout works, visit the Get Help page.
Mental Health Charity Disturbs: If you need non-emergency information about mental health support and services that may be available to you, please call the Mind Infoline on 0300 123 3393 or email [email protected]