Inquest: Mother from Grantham took her own life after battle with severe depression

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News from the Grantham Journal - granthamjournal.co.uk, @granthamjournal on Twitter, facebook.com/granthamjournal

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The mother of a six-year-old girl hung herself in the loft of her Grantham home after suffering severe depression.

Beata Czajka, 31, of Wallwork Mews, Grantham, was found hanging on October 10 of last year by her sister who attempted mouth-to-mouth resuscitation but was unsuccessful.

The inquest heard Miss Czajka had attempted suicide on more than one occasion previously. She had grown increasingly depressed having twice been diagnosed with cancer and had lengthy treatment including chemotherapy, radiotherapy and a hysterectomy, divorced from her husband and fought a custody battle for her six-year-old child.

A statement from the sister, Bernadetta Czerwiec, who described what happened the day Miss Czajka died.

She said: “As soon as I got upstairs I saw the loft hatch was open and a small pink chair was directly underneath. I stepped onto the chair and looked into the loft.

“I saw my sister hanging. I started to shout but she did not respond. Then I ran to get a knife to cut her down.”

Bernadetta said she was in a “panic” but got into the loft and held her sister with one arm while attempting to cut her down with the other.

She said: “I kept talking to her but she did not respond. I felt her body was warm but her face was getting colder.”

Bernadetta said she ran to a neighbour’s house and asked them to call an ambulance as she could not speak English.

The inquest heard from a close friend of Miss Czajka’s, Naresh Parekh, who raised concerns about the lack of help from mental health professionals and organisations in the weeks and months leading up to Miss Czajka’s death.

Mr Parekh said they felt so desperate at one stage they drove for three-and-a-half hours to Manchester to seek help from a private doctor.

He said: “There should be some kind of procedure to help people crying out for help which she just never got.”

The inquest also heard from Claire Hancox, team co-ordinator for the organisation Improving Access to Psychological Therapies in Grantham which helps people suffering “moderate” mental health problems.

A referral letter was received by the organisation asking them to offer support to the Miss Czajka on September 28 but the letter was not read until October 5 and a letter was not sent out to Miss Czajka from the team until October 9.

Deputy Coroner Richard Marshall said: “Unfortunately it looks like the letter was received after her death.”

Mrs Hancox said an internal investigation was held following Miss Czajka’s death.

She added: “The referral should have been paper screened on the day it arrived or the following day at the latest. That is now being done.”

Dep Coroner Richard Marshall concluded: “It is clear that from the circumstances of her death and the absence of any external involvement Miss Czajka took her own life.”