Final year becomes third Bristol law student in 14 months to die in suspected suicide

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By Katie King on

University encourages students and staff affected by news to contact support services

Bristol Law School. Image credit: YouTube

The city of Bristol has been shaken by the death of Justin Cheng, the third law student to die in a suspected suicide in 14 months.

The University of Bristol confirmed that Cheng, from Canada, had been found dead away from Bristol on the evening of 12 January. Mark Ames, director of student services at the Russell Group university, said:

“The police have told us they believe he took his own life. There were no suspicious circumstances and the coroner will hold an inquest in due course. Our thoughts and sympathies are with his family and friends.”

His comment continues:

“It is immensely distressing for members of our university community to learn that one of our students has died. We know that this will be especially difficult for those who knew and studied with Justin. If students or staff are affected by this tragic news, we would encourage them to contact university support services as well as seek support from friends or family.”

Unfortunately, this is far from the first suspected suicide to rock the university.

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Since the death of first-year history student Daniel Green in October 2016, seven students are believed to have taken their lives while studying at the University of Bristol or the University of the West of England (UWE). Aside from Cheng, this total includes two law students. These are Bristol fresher Kim Long and UWE first year Sam Symons, both of whom were found dead in their halls of residence.

Philosophy student Miranda Williams, neuroscience student Lara Nosiru, modern languages student Elsa Scaburri and maths student James Thomson have also all recently died while studying in Bristol.

Elizabeth Rimmer, CEO of wellbeing charity LawCare, says:

“We were very sad to hear about the death of law student Justin Cheng and our thoughts are with his family. We would urge anyone in the legal community who is feeling low to talk to someone — a tutor, a friend, a colleague, a family member or the LawCare helpline. We offer confidential help and support and can be reached 365 days year on 0800 279 6888.”

The University of Bristol says it will continue to work with students and staff “to enhance our services in response to the unprecedented rise in mental health difficulties amongst young people”.

Struggling with depression or stress? You can contact LawCare.

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