College

Transgender Oxford academic dies by suicide

A recent inquest has revealed that a transgender Oxford academic at Corpus Christi died by suicide in January 2017.

Erin Shepherd had just started work as a paid academic in Corpus Christi College chemistry department, having recently come out to friends and family as transgender.

“The university’s statement praised Erin as an “outstanding chemist” whose death has “greatly saddened” her friends.”

Erin’s doctor, Richard Baskerville, wrote that “she had recently come out as transgender. She had an extensive circle of friends and was pleased with her progress in transitioning. Her death was a sudden and tragic event.”

The university’s statement praised Erin as an “outstanding chemist” whose death has “greatly saddened” her friends.

Marathon

Marathon

This news follows on from OUSU’s most recent welfare report, released in 2015, which suggested that LGBTQ students were almost twice as likely to feel anxious most or all of the time, and were significantly more likely to feel overwhelmed by university life.

“Being a non-male-identifying person doubled a student’s odds of feeling out of control all or most of the time, as does identifying as LGBTQ”

Erin was also diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, a factor which the welfare report suggests would result in students being twice as likely to state that they felt overwhelmed most or all of the time.

In relation to feeling out of control, being a non-male-identifying person doubled a student’s odds of feeling out of control all or most of the time, as does identifying as LGBTQ. Those reporting a disability or CHC were 2.5 times as likely to feel out of control.

Our thoughts are with Erin’s friends and family at this time. If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article, you can ring or make an appointment with the university counselling service – https://www.ox.ac.uk/students/welfare/counselling – 01865 270300 – counselling@admin.ox.ac.uk. If you would like to speak to a trained Peer Supporter who identifies as LGBTQIA+ you can also contact the Rainbow Peers either through their Facebook page or by email at rainbowpeers@admin.ox.ac.uk .

Anonymous support services:
Nightline – http://oxfordnightline.org – 8pm to 8am in term time at 01865 270 270, or also online on skype and instant messenger
The Samaritans – http://www.samaritans.org – 01865 722122 

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