Beth Matthews committed suicide at the age of 26 in a psychiatric hospital run by Priory. After her Beth passed away, her family discovered that she had helped countless people by writing honestly about her mental health issues.
A few weeks after his daughter’s funeral, Chris Matthews spent the morning at her grave in a rural churchyard as he struggled to come to terms with her death.
One morning when I was cleaning up some faded flowers, I found a fresh bouquet.
The attached memo read:
Information and support
If you’re struggling with pain or despair, here’s more help and support.
It was written by Robert, who traveled 200 miles from London to Beth’s grave, overlooking the River Tamar in Cornwall. Although he had never met Beth, he wanted to thank her.
Beth had written a blog documenting her mental health journey, including how she survived and recovered from a suicide attempt.
Robert discovered it on a particularly dark day when he decided to take his own life.
“Instead, I couldn’t stop reading it,” he says. I thought, if I can overcome it, I can do it too.”
In a typical tweet to her 26,000 followers, Beth wrote:
Robert says she saved his life. “She looks at her tweets and replies and can imagine there are probably thousands of people like me,” he adds.
On the surface, Beth’s childhood was idyllic. She grew up by the sea She loves sailing Fastnet off the coast of Southern Ireland A race named after her rock became.
“I can still hear her squeals of joy when she was playing a little naughty,” recalls older sister Lucy.
However, despite her extroverted personality, Beth secretly struggled with mental health for years and attempted suicide multiple times. Then, on April 8, 2019, she was seriously injured while attempting to take her own life.
She was airlifted to the hospital, spent two weeks in a coma, but survived spectacularly and began to rebuild her life.
Beth spoke publicly about her recovery for the first time in a Facebook post.
“Naturally she was nervous and anxious about it,” Lucy recalls. “She was writing about how she fought to be here and what she wanted to be here. And she wrote so well.”
The post went viral. She started her Twitter account and blog.
the life she saved
Beth Matthews, the blogger who gave people hope, took her own life at the age of 26.
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“I think she realized there were people out there who benefited from her knowledge and understanding,” says Chris.
Another of those people was Melanie, who suffered from “horrible” insomnia.
“While my husband and children slept, I sat on the chaise longue all night, feeling like the loneliest person in the whole world, making plans to end my life and not carrying out those plans. I was trying to do that,” she explains.
Melanie had messaged Beth on Twitter asking for support. And Beth will answer.
“Whatever situation Beth was in, even when she was in the hospital, she was texting me at 2 a.m. saying it’s worth it, you deserve it.” They said yes,” she says.
Sheffield native Melanie is compiling a book of messages from Beth’s Twitter followers to her family.
“There are only a handful of people who think of Beth on a daily basis,” she says, showing the tattoo she has to remind her of Beth.
Brian Dow, chief executive of the charity Mental Health UK, said Beth had a special ability to explain “raw and really difficult moments” that many people face.
“The effect was that thousands of other people who felt the same way didn’t feel alone,” he says. we know.”
Telling her story was part of Beth’s attempt to move forward.
She also bought a paddleboard and posted a video of herself getting back on the water. “I’ve been given a second chance at life,” she wrote. “I’m going to take it.”
Her sister Lucy says that blogging and helping others on Twitter became Beth’s go-to.
Her father Chris agrees. “She was wise beyond her years,” he says, holding back tears. “She’s become such a big part of people’s lives. She’s people she’s never met before.”
The power of Beth’s writing comes from the raw honesty of the pain she went through.
In one tweet, she shared a shocking image of an X-ray of a broken pelvis, saying it was a “gentle reminder” of why people shouldn’t try to hurt themselves.
Mental Health UK’s Brian Dow said, ‘When someone thinks of others and is willing to share their pain frankly, it takes a level of courage that frankly most of us don’t have. think.
As part of her recovery, Beth met members of the Devon Air Ambulance Team who came to her aid and the police officer who held her hand that day.
PC’s Jessica Floyd says she’ll never forget this incident, but I wanted to talk about it in Beth’s memory.
“Tell someone how you feel. Know that you are not alone,” she says. “And while you feel very trapped in the situation, there are people out there who are there to talk to you and help you.”
Beth also used her experience to educate people first-hand. She told her story to young people at a mental health unit in Cornwall. She helped train police negotiators to deal with suicidal people, organized by Staffordshire police officers who saw her online profile.
“We’ve never had that kind of insight before,” says Sergeant Nigel Roberts. “It was inspiring. She had the determination to do whatever she could to help other people, to help them not happen.”
Sergeant Roberts and his team routinely use the knowledge and experience learned from Beth when dealing with high-risk situations.
But while Beth was doing a lot to help others, she still struggled with physical pain and mental health issues from her injuries.
Her family sought NHS funding for treatment in a psychiatric unit run by The Priory Group, one of the UK’s largest private psychiatric providers.
Beth moved to Cheadle Royal Abbey Hospital near Stockport in November 2021. She tweeted with excitement.
Beth’s father remembers breathing a huge sigh of relief that at least there his daughter would be safe. Her family claims she would have gotten better if she had received proper care and treatment.
“The last time I saw her, she said, ‘I want to be here,'” Lucy says.
However, Beth took her own life on March 21 last year after taking poison she ordered online.
An inquest jury concluded that Beth, who was being treated for a personality disorder, died of suicide through neglect.
It found that there was “inadequate care of a highly vulnerable patient,” adding that “it was clear that there were serious discrepancies at all levels of her care plan.”
Abbey fully accepted the jury’s findings, admitting that “more attention should have been paid to Beth’s care plan.”
A spokesperson said, “At the time of Beth’s untimely death, we are taking steps to document risks, communicate patient care plans, and expedite any issues related to the process for receiving and opening posts.” measures have been taken.
“I would like to express my deepest condolences for the loss of Beth’s family and friends.”
Beth’s family is dejected and angry. However, they take some comfort in her achievements.
“When people came forward and left me notes and messages of support after she died, I realized the impact she had on their personal lives,” says Lucy.
“It just makes me sad that she didn’t do the same for herself.”