An aspiring actress was found hanged in a wardrobe by her dad after social media fuelled her fears she was ugly, an inquest heard. Shante Stephenson, 19, would often compare herself to friends online – struggling with low self-esteem over her appearance and after recently losing her job.
Tragically, Walthamstow Coroners’ Court heard the teen had taken her life just a week after being assessed as “no longer in crisis” by the NHS.
The inquest also heard Shante was supposed to have medication delivered to her the day she died but it was delivered two days late.
Dr William Travers, at the time a consultant psychiatrist with the Impart home treatment team, said he had met the teen a week after one of her first suicide attempts.
He said: “It seemed to have been triggered by an experience she had performing a role in a theatre show case, she didn’t think she performed it well, and she was dwelling on it, replaying it over and over in her mind.”
Dr Travers added the teen revealed how she had struggled with her weight and feelings of being inadequate.
He said: “She told me that since the age of 11 she was focused on not being good enough, with regard to her career ambitions and her physical appearance in particular. “She was continuously comparing herself to her peers and frequently looking at multiple social media sites.”
The young woman had been referred to an NHS crisis team but she was formally discharged on June 22 – five days before her death.
Experts told the inquest she had seemed “positive” and “optimistic” about the future at the time.
The inquest heard that anti-depressant discharge medication was arranged for Shante and was to be delivered on June 27, the day she passed away, but arrived two days after on June 29.
The coroner passed on his “deepest condolences” to Shante’s father Ian Stephenson, who attended the inquest.
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