‘This is not about you or how you will all feel. This is about me and how I am feeling. I don’t care how this will affect you, I just want these feelings to end.’
London – A devastated father whose student daughter killed herself has urged young people to be more open about their mental health struggles.
Dean Taylor’s daughter Melina, 20, was found dead by her university flatmates last month after leaving a note saying: ‘I just want these feelings to end.’
In a heartrending series of tweets, Mr Taylor wrote he ‘had the call every parent dreads – the one from the police’.
He added: ‘She left a note for us. Ironically, she opened up to us for the first time, laying bare her feelings of utter despair and how she had hid her real feelings for so long. I could feel her frustration.’
The note said: ‘This is not about you or how you will all feel. This is about me and how I am feeling. I don’t care how this will affect you, I just want these feelings to end.’
Mr Taylor wrote: ‘The letter the hammer, the words the nail, straight through the heart.’
Melina was only nine when her mother took her own life. The Leeds University student had made a failed attempt to kill herself last year, but had asked friends not to mention it to anyone.
Mr Taylor said she was beset with worries about her chemistry course, relationships and health issues, but hid them from family and friends. He urged others to be more forthcoming about mental health problems.
Mr Taylor said his daughter could appear shy but was ‘loving and compassionate, the best of friends’. They shared a passion for music and would swap stories about gigs and bands.
But he noticed a change in her behaviour. He said: ‘We would arrange to meet and she wouldn’t turn up, ignored my phone calls and messages. She became very good at convincing us she was fine. It is clear now she was just telling me – showing me – what I wanted to hear. Underneath she was in turmoil. It was the same with the rest of the family and all her friends. No one was aware of how bad the situation had deteriorated, how low she was feeling.
‘In the end, she had convinced herself she had become too much of a burden and an inconvenience to us all. She couldn’t have been more wrong. All the issues she was dealing with could have been dealt with if only she had discussed them with us or a professional.’
Melina was found dead on January 27. Mr Taylor said he has since sought counselling himself. He added: ‘I am the absolute worst for storing it all up and saying nothing. Time to get it out. It’s the very least I can do.’ A Leeds University spokesman said: ‘We were very saddened by the news of Melina’s death. We are continuing to support those affected by this tragic event.’