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Student found dead at University of East Anglia

PUBLISHED: 17:03 13 March 2019 | UPDATED: 12:06 14 March 2019

UEA - University of East Anglia.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

UEA - University of East Anglia. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2016

A student has been found dead at the University of East Anglia (UEA).

The student was named in an email to students in the school of literature, drama, and creative writing (LDC) as Theo Brennan Hulme.

The email said he was a first year student studying literature and creative writing and died in his room on campus, on Tuesday.

The email, sent by head of LDC Alison Donnell, called Mr Brennan Hulme’s death “the very worst news”.

It said: “I recognise that many of you will be affected by this loss to our school and I have cleared by diary for the next two days to welcome you to my office to talk or just sit quietly as you wish.“

The email also included links to how students could get support.

Mental health support at UEA has been under the spotlight as this death is the fourth of a student in the last 10 months.

Professor Donnell’s email added: “I am aware that there is currently discussion in the news about supports for students at a local and a national level.

“As a school we take the wellbeing of our students very seriously and we want to be part of this discussion. If you wish to share anything on this subject please do contact me.

“Please remember that your wellbeing is more important than anything else.”

In a statement Prof Donnell added: “Theo was a warm and personable young man and highly regarded by his lecturers, tutors and classmates as a talented writer with a huge amount of promise. He had quickly established himself as a much-loved member of our first year cohort and he will be greatly missed by all of us.

MORE: Student revealed suicidal thoughts before he went missing

“Theo’s tutors have shared their strong sense of him as a thoughtful and committed student. His writing was a pleasure to read, filled with originality, engaging details and often humour. Theo could produce works of crisp precision or write more quirkily contemplative characters.

“Theo’s family have been informed and our foremost thoughts are with them, as well as his friends. I have opened up my office for any student or staff member within LDC who feels affected by Theo’s loss.”

All those who lived in Mr Brennan Hulme’s flat in Britten House are being offered support through UEA’s student support service (SSS).

Norfolk police said they were called to a premises on campus by the ambulance service at around 10.45am on Tuesday following a sudden death.

A spokesman said: “The death of the man is not being treated as suspicious and a file will be prepared for the coroner ahead of the inquest which will take place in due course.”

David Richardson, UEA vice chancellor, added: “The death of a UEA student is something that affects our community deeply and, at this time, it is all the more important for both students and staff to look out for each other.

“If any student or staff member needs help with mental health or wider wellbeing then please reach out for help. Don’t think that your problem is not severe enough to ask for help, or that help is not there. It is.

“In recent years we have invested in mental health and wellbeing services at UEA. This year an additional £250,000 is being invested in student support services to improve access to services.

“This additional investment will go towards additional mental health first aid training for advisers, more wellbeing staff and greater online resources to give students more support, advice and guidance.”

• For help at UEA contact SSS either by calling 01603 592761 or emailing studentsupport@uea.ac.uk.

• Need to talk? Call Samaritans on 116 123 24 hours a day.

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