Former model had a history of depression

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A FORMER glamour model who was twice found at cliffs months before she took her own life, had a 19-year history of anxiety and depression.

Susan Meldrum, 46, of Vale Road, Seaford, had also expressed suicidal thoughts.

The mother-of-six was in contact with mental health services and regularly attended A&E at Eastbourne DGH.

An inquest at Eastbourne Magistrates’ Court last week focused on whether she should have been considered for long term admission rather than the care plan she was given.

Her body was found at the bottom of cliffs at Seaford Head on November 16, 2008, where she died of multiple injuries.

Mental health professionals met on November 14 about changes to her care plan and decided care co-ordinator Veronica Jones would support her in the community.

Norman Lusted, a senior practitioner social worker for the Crisis Home Team, told the inquest that when he had seen Mrs Meldrum she had said mental health services were not working, but could not say how they could help.

The family of Mrs Meldrum said the care plan seemed more rigid and that the long term admission was the one thing that they didn’t try.

Her daughter Anastasia added, “My mum was an incredibly good mum. She raised six children alone. She didn’t want to be ill. She was really, really worried about the two youngest. She was worried she hadn’t prepared them enough for life.”

Care co-ordinator Veronica Jones said, “The risks were discussed and whether a long term inpatient stay would be beneficial to the client,” adding, “I didn’t believe decisions made on the 14th would increase the risk [of suicide].”

Dr Gregory Baginski, consultant psychiatrist, wrote to Veronica Jones after the meeting on the November 14 which said the most appropriate ‘risk reducing intervention’ would be a ‘planned crisis respite admission’ but that was unavailable.

Coroner Alan Craze questioned whether that meant there were no beds for Mrs Meldrum, but Dr Baginski said that was not the case, but he may not have chosen the best words in the letter.

Mr Craze recorded a verdict of suicide at the inquest on Tuesday February 7 and said there was no doubt she had taken her life.

* If you need to contact The Samaritans, call the 24-hour helpline 08457-909090 or email them at jo@samaritans.org.