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Cardiff nursing student criticised mental health support in letter before ending her life

Her family have described her as ‘bright and beautiful’

A Cardiff University nursing student who had struggled with her mental health criticised the health board for its lack of support before ending her life.

Bronwen Morgan, 26, was a talented boxer and swimmer and was in her second year at the university. She was also training to be a mental health nurse.

She had reportedly struggled with her mental health for a number of years and had been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD) in 2019, BBC reports.

By June 2020, Bronwen was taking anti-depressants and receiving dialectal behaviour therapy (DBT), in order to help her manage her feelings.

Bronwen had written to the Cardiff and Vale University Health board days before her death stating how her cries for help were being ignored after her community psychiatric nurse (CPN) was removed.

In the letter seen by WalesOnline, Bronwen wrote: “I’ve been telling professionals that my care plan isn’t working, that I want it reviewed. But I’m being denied any say in my care and treatment.”

She also labelled the mental health support in Cardiff as “shocking”.

The coroner’s court in Pontypridd heard that Bronwen had previously attempted to take her life on a number of occasions after March 2020 due to struggling with her mental health for a period of years.

A psychiatrist noted that before her death, Bronwen’s self-harm attempts had become “riskier”. There was also discussion about her being placed under a community protection order, despite the police disagreeing with this approach.

This news had scared Bronwen and she was reportedly worried about how it would affect her future and it is thought to be what caused her ultimate distress.

In the inquest to her death, it was explained that on the day she died, Bronwen had visited her GP with her father to receive treatment for a self-harm wound. She told him she would be going to a friend’s house after the appointment. However, when she sent her friend a distressing message and did not show up at the house, her family went looking for her.

After using Find My iPhone to locate Bronwen, she was found unresponsive by police at a Premier Inn hotel in Pentwyn, Cardiff with a letter beside her bed.

After using Find My iPhone to locate Bronwen, she was found unresponsive by police at a Premier Inn hotel in Pentwyn, Cardiff with a letter beside her bed.

Her family described Bronwen as “bright and beautiful” and detailed how her letter has spurred them to fight to make the changes she had pleaded for.

They have since set up a charity in her honour called Bronwen’s Wish which aims to equip schools with wellbeing dens so that those struggling may have a quiet and safe space to go.

Bronwen’s mother, Jayne said: “I think the mental health system is completely broken. I don’t think it is fit for purpose.

“The wheels are turning too slowly, and we are going to lose way too many of our young people if we don’t act soon.

“We felt in Bronwen’s place, she was never treated as an individual. She was treated with a blanket approach.

“It was service led instead of being patient led and they don’t have enough resources.”

Bronwen’s family are also campaigning for families to be more involved in mental health treatment pathways and are calling for shared decision making and monthly care plan reviews to be a legal requirement.

A spokesperson for the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board has said: “Our thoughts and condolences remain with Bronwen’s family.

“The Health Board would welcome the opportunity to further meet with the family to discuss the work that we are doing to make improvements in the ways to involve people, and with the persons consent, their families in the planning of their own care.

“We are continually refining our approach to complex and and challenging clinical situations where people have a high risk of self-harm.”

In the inquest, Dr Alex Lawson listed Bronwen’s cause of death as substance toxicity. The inquest continues.

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