THE University of York says it has been taking significant steps to try to prevent student suicides after an inquest heard how an undergraduate killed himself at a student house in the city.

The York inquest was told that physics student Jordan Bilsland, 19, appeared to be a ‘happy-go-lucky character,’ but he suffered from ‘dark thoughts’ and had researched on the internet how to kill himself.

He was found hanging at a property in Hull Road last September after a drink-fuelled row with former girlfriends in the city centre. Police found no suspicious circumstances and Coroner Rob Turnbull concluded the death was suicide.

Jordan’s sister queried at the inquest whether more pastoral care could be provided for students at the university, and his death is just the latest in a concerning series of suicides involving students. The Press reported in 2016 that five were reported to have taken their own lives in a year.

But a university spokeswoman said last week it had invested £500,000 in mental health support services and awareness campaigns across campus, including expanding an in-house counselling service, with two new staff members, to ensure those who needed urgent appointments could be seen quickly, and further staff appointments were expected this year.

“We have improved support delivered online and by telephone, and continue to fund student-led initiatives such as Nightline,” she said.”Our Students Union is also leading a social media campaign to promote positive use of digital platforms and help create a supportive online community.”

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