A WOMAN took her own life after struggling to pay the £900 a month rent on her allegedly grotty and 'unhygienic' flat.
Yee-King Ho, known as Fion to her friends, also suffered from insomnia, was losing her hair and couldn't afford to eat more than one meal a day amid the cost of living crisis.
Fion, 27, moved into the property in Richmond, South West London from Hong Kong in April last year, in what her family thought was an exciting new chapter in her life.
However, her brother Tommy Ho Yiu Hang said she told him that she couldn't sleep and was uncomfortable with the state the flat was in.
He also found a notebook entry after her death that revealed she chose between eating only lunch or dinner each day to try and save money.
On November 3, Fion was found dead at her flat after Tommy asked a fellow tenant to check on her after she failed to show up for work.
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The coroner ruled yesterday that the cause of death was suicide.
Her devastated brother later discovered the full extent of her mental and physical health issues.
The young woman had even booked a counselling sessions for depression, scheduled for just four days after her death.
A statement from Tommy, read by the coroner, said: "She mentioned to me…that since July, she was worried about her income and was not able to sustain her life in the UK and felt depressed.
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"The hygiene condition of the bathroom made her feel uncomfortable…This made her pressure build up and fall to a loss of strength to work from home and live at home. And she seldom left her room.
"She was scared she will be laid off from work due to stress and face a loss of income due to her poor working performance. Due to insufficient income, I think she had begun to limit her meals per day."
You’re Not Alone
EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide.
It doesn't discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.
It's the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.
And men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.
Yet it's rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.
That is why The Sun launched the You're Not Alone campaign.
The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.
Let's all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others… You're Not Alone.
If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:
- CALM, www.thecalmzone.net, 0800 585 858
- Heads Together, www.headstogether.org.uk
- Mind, www.mind.org.uk, 0300 123 3393
- Papyrus, www.papyrus-uk.org, 0800 068 41 41
- Samaritans, www.samaritans.org, 116 123
- Movember, www.uk.movember.com
- Anxiety UK www.anxietyuk.org.uk, 03444 775 774 Monday-Friday 9.30am-10pm, Saturday/Sunday 10am-8pm
He added that he wished he could have prevented the tragedy and shared his hope that his sister was now in heaven.
Coroner Dr Anton van Dellen described Fion as an "intelligent" and "dedicated" young woman and expressed his sorrow that her time in the UK had been so unhappy.
The Hong Kong native had completed a bachelor's degree in Asian and international studies in her home country in 2017, followed by a master's degree in international affairs in Switzerland two years later.
She had worked for the Hong Kong Red Cross and, at the time of her death, had been working for a charity promoting education for women and girls internationally.
Dr van Dellen said: "I am only very sorry that the time she spent in England was clearly not a happy time for her. England is enriched by having such strong links to Hong Kong and benefits enormously from having people from Hong Kong coming to live and work in England.
"Fion is an excellent example of the high calibre of person who is so welcome in England. She was clearly a very highly intelligent and dedicated humanitarian worker. The world is a much sorry-er place for not having her in organisations that help people in need.
"I don't underestimate how difficult it is for a young person living far away from their family in a city such as London. Her brother explained how Fion rented a room for £900 a month sharing the bathroom and communal spaces.
"Unfortunately this is a problem faced by any young people in London where a low salary struggles to cover the costs of rent and eating."
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He also praised Tommy for giving so much valuable evidence and "pulling together the threads of what he uncovered" while grieving.
If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this article, please call the Samaritans for free on 116123.
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