Natasha Abrahart Inquest: ‘no Support’ For Vulnerable Student

During an inquest into the death of Bristol University physics student Natasha Abrahart, it was revealed that no adequate plans were put in place to help the chronically shy student overcome her anxiety during a presentation in front of over 40 colleagues. The presentation was scheduled to take place on the same day that Abrahart’s body was found, prompting police to be called to her flat close to the university campus. The inquest heard that staff were aware of Abrahart’s vulnerability and missed laboratory interviews as a result of her shyness, but no proper measures were taken to support her during the laboratory conference. She is one of 12 suspected student suicides at the university since September 2016.

Adrian Barnes, a senior tutor in the school of physics, revealed that Abrahart’s struggles with social anxiety were brought to his attention in 2017 after she began missing work. He met with her and referred her to the university’s disability services, but Abrahart did not engage with them. The court was told that there was no direct contact between Abrahart and the university’s student wellbeing service. Barnes denied that Abrahart was at risk of academic failure and asserted that the physics department had been seeking ways to help her overcome her social anxiety. The inquest is ongoing.

For confidential support on mental health call Samaritans on 116 123 or contact in the UK, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255 in the US. In Australia, the Lifeline crisis support service is 13 11 14 and international helplines can be found at


  • tenleylancaster

    Tenley Lancaster is a 34-year-old educational blogger and student. She enjoys writing about topics related to education, including but not limited to student motivation, learning styles, and effective study techniques. Tenley has also written for various websites and magazines, and is currently working on her first book. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading, and traveling.