Bride-to-be, 25, takes her own life after becoming ‘overwhelmed with anxiety’ she hid from family

‘Overwhelmed’: Amy Deeley, 25, took her own life after struggling to cope with anxiety

The heartbroken family of a bride-to-be who took her own life after becoming ‘overwhelmed with anxiety’ is campaigning for young women to speak up about their mental health issues, as well as better access to support services.

From the outside, Amy Deeley, 25, was living the ‘perfect life’ after doing well in her employment and becoming engaged.

But an inquest heard the palliative care nurse at Northern General Hospital in Sheffield worried ‘about everything’ and feared she would lose her job as a result of taking time off to recover, or that reducing her hours would strain her finances. 

She had also argued with her fiance the night before she was found hanged by her devastated fiance. 

Mum Sharon Deeley, 61, said: ‘Amy was the most selfless person you could wish to ever meet.

‘I was very close to my daughter and I thought I understood her, but she was facing demons in her own mind that no-one knew about.

‘She was anxious about all sorts and even though her manager was supportive, she did worry about losing her job.

‘I can’t change it for Amy now, but I want other young people to know there is always someone to turn to. 

‘If there is anything positive that can come out of this, it is helping other young people find the support they need, more quickly.’

Amy was signed off work at the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield with low mood when she was discovered at her home in the city on June 13.

Mrs Deeley, a sales office manager, told the inquest her daughter had feared she would lose her job for breaching the NHS trust’s sickness policy and had financial concerns after agreeing to cut her hours.

She said: ‘She was worrying about losing her job. She was worried about being off.’

Amy, who became engaged to her partner of four years, Joe Caswell, in Mexico in 2017, was due to get married in 2021.

Days before her death, she spoke to a doctor over the phone requesting a sick note extension.

Dr Saira Khan said Amy ‘felt overwhelmed with her anxiety’ and that ‘she was wired the wrong way’.

The GP added: ‘She didn’t mention that work was causing her to feel low, but when she had time off she felt she was getting a bit of stress from work.’

Amy was found by Mr Caswell when he forced entry to their home after arguing the previous night.

Amy Deeley was engaged to her partner of four years, Joe Caswell and due to marry in 2021

Amy Deeley was engaged to her partner of four years, Joe Caswell and due to marry in 2021

Mrs Deeley told the inquest: ‘She was beautiful. Joe proposed to her in in Mexico.

‘They’d been together for four years, they had a house and they were looking forward to getting married.

‘But she was struggling with her mood and she was worrying about things.’

Amy had been set for a one-to-one mental health appointment scheduled just days after the tragedy.

She had told NHS therapists in a telephone consultation three weeks before her death that she was ‘struggling with worry’.

Rose Clark, from the Improving Access to Psychological Treatment service, said: ‘She was worrying about everything really.

‘It seemed to come since she had been signed off work and had the time on her hands to think about things.’

Mrs Deeley told the inquest she believed her daughter intended to take her own life.

She said: ‘I feel as though she just decided and something went in her head that she was going to end it.

‘The void is just so immense, she played such a big part in people’s lives.’ 

Katie Lonsdale, one of Amy’s close friends who are now fundraising for mental health charity MIND, said: ‘It was in Amy’s nature to always put others first, especially with her work on the palliative care unit.

‘Amy was always the first one to support you in anytime of need, she was undeniably reliable in any scenario. 

‘From an outsider’s perspective Amy had it all – the ‘perfect life’.’ 

The inquest in Sheffield recorded a verdict of suicide.

Chris Morley, chief nurse at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said the team had been left ‘devastated’ by Amy’s death and that they had tried to support her with flexible working, as well as access to wellbeing support services.

He said: ‘A few days before she died she had been with colleagues enjoying a party and seemed happy, so the news of her death came as a huge shock.

‘Our thoughts are with Amy’s family at this very sad time.’

Suicide rates among females aged between 10 and 24 soared by a staggering 83 per cent from 2013 to 2018, according to the Official for National Statistics released in September.  

Among boys in the same age group, the rates jumped by a quarter between 2017 and 2018. 

The figures also showed suicide rates across the board rising for the first time in seven years. 

A total of 6,507 suicides were registered in 2018, marking an increase of 11 per cent from 2017.  

Samaritans chief executive Ruth Sutherland said at the time: ‘Every single one of these deaths is a tragedy that devastates families, friends and communities.

‘Whilst the overall rise has only been seen this year – and we hope it is not the start of a longer-term trend – it’s crucial to have a better understanding of why there has been such an increase.

‘We know that suicide is not inevitable; it is preventable, and encouraging steps have been made to prevent suicide, but we need to look at suicide as a serious public health issue.’

For confidential support, 24 hours a day, call the Samaritans on 116 123, or visit 


As part of NHS England’s Long Term Plan, the Government has pledged to invest at least an extra £2.3bn ($2.8bn) a year on mental health care.

It will particularly increase funding for children and adolescents.

By 2023/24, at least an additional 345,000 25-year-olds should have access to mental-health support on the NHS.

The plan also aims to expand crisis services to improve patient care and reduce pressure on A&E departments.

Evaluations showed 83 per cent of children who were referred to crisis and liaison services were seen within four hours. 

Over the next five years, the NHS will also fund mental-health support teams in schools and colleges.

These will be rolled out to a quarter of the country by 2023.