Woman takes own life after lockdown struggle and telling mum ‘I just want peace’

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A young woman took her own life just days before her mum was due to hold a gender reveal party.

Leonie Baigan, 20, from Edinburgh in Scotland, tragically died on March 3 after struggling with her mental health during lockdown.

On December 23, Leonie called NHS 24 for help and was prescribed antidepressants the following day.

However, the Bank of Scotland worker did not want to take them.

In February, she was signed off work and given access to five private counselling sessions over the phone – but Leonie was too shy to phone a taxi herself or order a takeaway.

She missed all the phone calls, and her mum said she felt face-to-face support should be given to people in crisis despite the pandemic.

On the day she died, Leonie had a “down day” but mum Stacey Baigan, 40, said there was nothing unusual about it.

She explained: "We were trying to get her help for about two or three years, in December she started to speak about it more saying 'I can't explain this feeling in my head, I just want peace'."

Stacey had tried to encourage Leonie to buy some paint to redecorate the kitchen cupboards of the flat in Edinburgh she was renting and to buy a notebook to record her feelings.

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Stacey said: "She had best friends, she had a boyfriend, she had a good job with a great career, she wanted to do a mortgage advisor qualification.

"She was making plans, I'm six months pregnant and Leonie was going to pop the balloon at a gender reveal party."

Stacey went on: "She was so excited, she was more excited than us, she was planning to pick up cupcakes.

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"It didn't seem to me like it was planned.

"That day, she was having a down day but it wasn't any different from other down days."

An appointment was offered by the NHS on March 22 but it was over the phone, and Stacey said it would have been too hard for Leonie to open up unless it was in person.

She said: "I know we're in a pandemic but why can't it be in a room 2m apart, you can get a filling done but there isn't enough face to face support for people in crisis."

Stacey plans to complete an Open University degree in Criminology and Psychology and use her experiences to help others.

And she plans to start a charity, Leonie's Legacy, to help other young people facing mental health struggles.

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Stacey added: "It is an invisible illness, if you break an arm you can see it.

"I believe that talking about it is a good start, if not we are losing a population."

For emotional support, you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email [email protected], visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.

  • Lockdown

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