THE mother of a student who took his own life in his halls of residence said 'she is not going away' until universities have a changed statutory duty of care. 

Maxine Carrick wants universities to follow a similar set of rules to workplaces so students can nominate a next of kin to contact in moments of crisis. 

Tragically her son Oskar died by suicide weeks before his 21st birthday at Sheffield Hallam University on June 19 last year. 

His name was mentioned in a parliamentary debate on mental health support at universities by the Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron in June. 

Mrs Carrick said that Mr Farron is putting together a private member's bill to submit to the house after summer.

Mr Farron said in the debate: "Oskar had made an attempt on his life, and despite the fact that both he and his parents had consented for the university to disclose information, that incident was not passed on to Oskar’s mum and dad.

The Westmorland Gazette: Oskar's mother wants emergency contacts to be used when consent is givenOskar's mother wants emergency contacts to be used when consent is given (Image: Submitted)

“The thought that a higher education institution of any kind should have any hesitation about sharing such vital information with parents and loved ones - because of concerns about legality, form, traditions, GDPR or whatever it might be - is clearly wrong and it is important that universities understand that."

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Mrs Carrick said that the campaign group she was in had splintered into one that wants to continue talks with Universities UK and another that wants to see new duty of care provisions written into law. 

Mrs Carrick said: "I do this because of Oskar - in a stupid way it keeps him alive. He would not have wanted anyone else to through this if he thought other people were suffering."

She said she had a 'really, really good relationship' with her son but 'sometimes when people are broken they are too broken to talk to you.' 

Because of factors such as the pandemic, she did not drive out to see Oskar and therefore did not know how bad the situation had become. 

"It is something we are passionate about," she said. "We just want people to go to university, be safe, come home and have a nice life. Nothing will change until by law. Hopefully, the political wheel will start spinning. We are pushing, and we keep going. We are not going away." 

Sheffield Hallam University has denied any wrongdoing in relation to his suicide.

A spokesperson for the university said previously: “The inquest into Oskar’s tragic death did not reference any failings on the part of the University. The coroner also commented that she was content the University was engaging with discussions surrounding consent on a sector-wide national level.”