A student with a history of anxiety killed himself while self-isolating after learning his roommate tested positive for Covid-19, an inquiry was told today.
Finn Kitson, 19, from Cambridge, has been asked to isolate with the rest of his family for two weeks after arriving nine days ago to begin his political and international relations studies at the University of Manchester.
The session was told how the coronavirus outbreak had already disrupted his year of travel with friends in Southeast Asia.
After just five weeks of venturing abroad, he arrived in the UK under national lockdown in March 2020, Manchester Coroners Court today.
Finn Kitson, 19, was found dead in the halls of his residence at the University of Manchester
An investigation heard that he was asked to isolate with the rest of his family for two weeks after arriving just nine days ago
His mother, Jane Denny, told the inquest: “I think it was a very bad time. He had all this excitement in his cut year, and of course everything was cut short and he came back for not being able to do anything. He couldn’t get a job.
She said the summer months for her son, who recently broke up with his girlfriend, were “miserable”, but she really thought he was “excited” to move to Manchester in September and “look forward to the next phase of his life”.
Finn met his friends who also study in the city and socialized as much as he could before a classmate of his Fallowfield residence halls tested positive, according to the inquiry.
Later during his isolation, the university decided that all lessons would be held remotely as infection rates increased in the area.
‘I know he felt very isolated – literally -‘ said Mrs. Denny, ‘and never left his room much at all. He didn’t know the people in his apartment either.
On September 30, he attended a Zoom session with his academic advisor, and the investigation was heard.
The university’s residential life advisors also regularly contacted students living in the halls, although no evidence was provided that Finn was seen or spoken to while in self-isolation.
Finnish security staff were found hanging in his room on October 8, 2020, a day after he raised his family’s concerns and two days before the period of self-isolation ended.
Mr Kitson is the son of leading Cambridge academic Michael Kitson (pictured)
He had previously been diagnosed with anxiety at the age of 14 or 15, and was later prescribed the antidepressant fluoxetine. He also underwent treatment with a consultant psychiatrist.
Finn stopped taking fluoxetine after returning from his choppy year telling his mother he was feeling “much better”.
Coroner Zack Golombek said in recording the outcome of the suicide: “It is clear that the Covid-19 pandemic had an effect on his plans, both earlier in the year regarding his journey and then more nearly until his death, and somewhat more importantly for his mood in isolation. that he had to go through.
This will, of course, be a difficult period for anyone starting a university course in a city they are completely unfamiliar with.
“I have no doubt that that period of isolation could have had an effect on his mental health.”
Mr Golombek said he would write a future death prevention report to the University and Colleges Admissions Services (UCAS).
Finn Kitson, left, joins his Cambridge Celts teammates to celebrate his goal, in a video shared by team manager Nick Metham.
Finland’s Kitsun (#10) is seen scoring while playing for the Cambridge Celts in the video shared by manager Mr Metham.
On his Ucas application form, Fenn did not disclose his anxiety diagnosis, but the coroner said any potential student was simply asked to confirm whether he had a “disability or special needs.”
“In my estimation, the specific form and wording of the model discourage potential students from confirming such a diagnosis,” said Mr. Golombek.
He stressed that this did not contribute to the death of the teenager but was “certainly a matter of concern”.
Mr Kitson, a former young Cambridge City FC player, has been discovered at the university’s Fallowfield Halls residential centre
Following the investigation, the father of Ms. Denny and Michael Kitson, said in a statement: “The Finn was a beautiful and wonderful young man, who is deeply missed by his family.
We are very pleased that this investigation has shed light on the provision of mental health in universities. We welcome the coroner’s report to prevent future deaths on this very important issue.
For confidential support, call Samaritans at 116123 or visit your local Samaritans branch. See www.samaritans.org for details