A 19-year-old girl decided to end her life over fears of being isolated with coronavirus, her family have revealed.
Emily Owen, who had high-functioning autism, had been unable to cope “with her world closing in, plans being cancelled and being stuck inside,” her family said.
Her heartbroken family now wants to raise awareness and support for people with mental health problems during coronavirus pandemic.
Days before the tragedy, Emily had already warned her family. “More people will die from suicide during this than the virus itself.”
Her loved ones said that she was very concerned about the outbreak and the ‘mental health impacts of isolation.’
Emily was planning to volunteer and help others with mental health issues. Sadly, she took her own life and passed away in hospital after being found severely ill.
Her loved ones suspect the ‘fear of the unknown may have driven her over the edge.’
Emily’s sister, 21-year-old Annabel, said in a tribute shared online: “Emily was very concerned about coronavirus itself but more concerned about the mental health impact of isolation and the fear of the unknown.
“We are all absolutely devastated but also immensely proud of everything she achieved in her life. So many people have messaged us saying how Emily helped them through hard times of their own, and we had no idea how much positive impact she had on those around her.
“To many people Emily was a really fun, energetic, happy girl, but only a few were aware of the many years of internal battles she had.
“Few people are aware but four years ago she was diagnosed with high-functioning autism and had a daily battle to fit in and conform to social norms.
“She didn’t want anyone to know, but now she has gone we want to make people know that autism comes in all shapes and sizes.”
Our thoughts and prayers are with Emily’s family during this difficult time.
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