Depressed pensioner left suicide note saying 'I have taken an overdose'

Coroner Ian Smith

Coroner Ian Smith

First published in News

A DEPRESSED pensioner took an overdose just one week after discovering her counsellor could no longer see her.

Susan Ring was found dead on the bedroom floor at her home on Rosemary Hill, Kendal, by her ex-husband Allan James Ring on May 13.

An inquest heard the 66-year-old had ‘severe depression’ and as well as taking a ‘fatal level’ of the anti-depressant dosulepin, had also consumed alcohol.

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Mr Ring told the inquest that although they were separated and living at different addresses, they saw each other every day.

But the inquest heard that the mother-of-one was seeing a counsellor who had just informed her that she was moving to a new job and could no longer see her.

“A week prior, the counsellor said she would no longer be seeing her and gave her a three or four week period to stop seeing her,” said Mr Ring. “She took it very badly.”

Mr Ring added that they spoke ‘endlessly’ about how she was going to cope with it.

On the evening before her death Mr Ring saw his ex wife and said he realised now that she was ‘saying goodbye’.

In a note left by Mrs Ring, read out by South Lakes coroner Ian Smith, she said: “I have taken an overdose of anti-depressants in an attempt to take my own life.

“No other person is involved.”

However, Mr Ring said he was unhappy with the way the community health team had handled his ex- wife’s case.

“I spoke to the manager of the Community Mental Health Team and said I wasn’t happy with the way that they looked after that case.

“I felt that they hadn’t provided sufficient monitoring of Susan’s progress and felt they should have provided more support for her,” he added.

Mr Ring added that he had not yet received a response from the organisation.

A spokesman for the Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said after the hearing: “We offer our sincere sympathies to the family of Mrs Ring at this difficult time. We accept the coroner’s findings and continue to strive to provide the best possible patient care.”

In summing up, Mr Smith said: “The cause is by poisoning by dosulepin which was a prescribed medication she was on. Very clearly she did take the overdose and she did it knowing what the outcome would be.”

He recorded a verdict that Mrs Ring died as a consequence of her own actions while suffering from depression.

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