AN NHS nurse has killed herself after the stress of working 12-hour shifts at a hospital left her unable to cope, an inquest heard today.
Leona Goddard, 35, wanted to settle down and have a family but unpredictable hours and an ever-increasing workload left her struggling to even manage a social life.
Although colleagues rated her as ”outstanding”, Leona developed low self esteem and formed the mistaken belief she was not good enough at her job.
On October 3 last year – just six months after she got a promotion as a nursing manager in a mental health unit at Prestwich Hospital in Manchester – she was found hanged.
Her devastated mum found her body in her bedroom at their family home in Manchester.
The hearing was told Leona had originally wanted to work as an occupational therapist but studied nursing and psychology and graduated from Manchester University in 2012.
When she (Leona) was working for the NHS, there were changing shift patterns and she felt frustration at the unpredictability of shifts
Ex-boyfriend Peter Schaffer said: ”Leona had a wish to have children one day and start a family of her own and no doubt she would have been a great mother.
“But when she was working for the NHS, there were changing shift patterns and she felt frustration at the unpredictability of shifts.
“A new position was offered to give her new skills and experience and more responsibilities.
“The plans were for her to take in extra responsibilities and enable her to get on a course to improve her employability.”
YOU’RE NOT ALONE
EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost – to suicide.
It doesn’t discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.
It’s the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes. And men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.
Yet, it’s rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.
That is why The Sun has launched the You’re Not Alone campaign. To remind anyone facing a tough time, grappling with mental illness or feeling like there’s nowhere left to turn, that there is hope.
To mark World Suicide Prevention Day, over the course of this week, we will tell you the stories of brave survivors, relatives left behind, heroic Good Samaritans – and share tips from mental health experts.
The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.
Let’s all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others. You’re Not Alone.
He added: “She did want to stay in mental health and the NHS but in a capacity that would give her more of a social life.
”The only reason she stayed in the job that was not healthy for her was a light at the end of the tunnel.
“There were many difficulties when she started in the new position and she was left increasing amount of responsibilities, workload, absence of training – and not long after she was signed off work.
“We had long conversations to try to help her to find other opportunities but over the weeks communication was deteriorating and I ended the relationship.
“She was upset and my intention was to give her space and then have a conversation about it but tragically she took her own life a week later and that never materialised.”
‘UNDER GREAT DEAL OF STRESS’
A doctor’s report read to the hearing said Leona had been to see her GP in the weeks leading up to her death.
She said she felt ”unsupported” and ”had nightmares about work” and was offered anti-depressants but she refused saying if work ”got sorted out she would feel better.”
Leona’s mum Corrine added said: ”They involved her treating patients with drug and alcohol issues.
“The shift work in particular got her down as she did a 12-hour shift.
“Leona had not had any long term steady relationship and the most recent one ended by text message.
“Despite the fact Leona might have been stressed at work none of use fully realised she was feeling depressed and sad.
“Her death has affected the whole family deeply all miss her, asking why this happened.”
The shift work in particular got her down as she did a 12-hour shift
Recording a conclusion of suicide coroner Angharad Davis said: “Colleagues describe her as a bright, clever, caring nurse but it clear from the evidence that the job role was causing Leona stress because of the difficulties working and the stress of the job itself.”
The coroner added: “Have considered all the evidence read and heard it seems that Leona was under a great deal of stress going on for a long time.
“She was a young women who made a career helping people who were in trouble and using skills that she had to best effect.
“It’s absolutely tragic that she didn’t recognise what a wonderful person she was.”
If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems the Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123, or visit Mind’s website.
View more information: https://www.the-sun.com/news/77239/nhs-nurse-35-killed-herself-after-stress-of-12-hour-shifts-stopped-her-from-settling-down/