Long-standing mental problems led to death of mum by overdose

  • Suzanne Ball was found to have committed suicide
  • Ms Ball took an overdose of medication
  • She had suffered from mental problems her whole life
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THE death of a mother who struggled with depression and anxiety since childhood was suicide, a coroner has concluded.

Suzanne Ball died on August 19 last year after overdosing on medication she had been taking for her mental health problems.

It was like a whirlwind

Gary Wood

The inquest, held at Portsmouth Coroner’s Court, heard the 33-year-old had tried to kill herself ‘five or six’ times before by overdosing and once by intentionally crashing her car.

The inquest heard that she was living with friends Gary and Anna Wood at their house in Rapson Close, Paulsgrove, when she died.

Mr Wood found Ms Ball just before 10pm in the converted garage, where she was staying.

She was beside the bed and left three suicide notes on the bed alongside her medication.

Mr Wood said: ‘When I opened the door I saw her face down.’

Pathologist Brett Lockyer said there was evidence of lethal amounts of the anti-anxiety drugs Venlafaxine and Propanol in her system.

Coroner David Horsley said: ‘She’s taken her own life due to long-term, severe mental health problems. It’s quite clear she had the support of her family and friends who did everything they could to help her, but sadly the illness was too strong for her to take up those offers.’

Ms Ball had been staying with the Woods since she lost her council flat, about seven months before she died. She had two daughters who were living with her ex-partner, Nick Hendy, but they had little contact.

A short time before Ms Ball’s death, the daughters had stayed with her sister, Francesca Shaw, in Portsmouth for a week.

When Ms Ball found out she asked to see the girls, but they did not want to see their mum because of her record of erratic behaviour, which upset her.

Mr Wood said: ‘Sometimes she was up, sometimes she was down.

‘You could never judge how she would be.’

Mrs Wood said: ‘She was like a yo-yo. If she was alone for too long she would go into what we called “over thinking”.’

On the day of her death she sent a text message to Mr Hendy saying he would have to look after their children because ‘she 
was going to a place that
she would not come back from.’