A CORONER heard of the tragic events that led to the death of a much loved Carlisle woman who was “one in a million”.

Michelle Walsh, 37, of Carlisle, died at The Cumberland Infirmary in July last year.

The coroner’s court heard how Michelle had battled depression over a number of years dating from when she was about 15, not long after suffering a fall which resulted in her back needing to be pinned.

The deaths of her brothers Daniel and Anthony, as well as parents Christine and Eddie and a nephew, only fuelled her mental health problems.

On more than one occasion, Michelle had tried to seek help for her mental health problems, and was taking a number of medications to try and combat this.

In a statement from her brother Steven Elgey that was read to the court on Friday, it was placed on record that Michelle had take an overdose on a number of occasions.

After an overdose in 2016, when she had to have her stomach pumped, Michelle tried to seek further help.

On the night of July 17, 2018, Michelle called the The Lighthouse - a service for those experiencing crisis, feeling unsafe or finding it hard to cope - expressing she was having suicidal thoughts and that she needed help.

However, because Michelle had drunk alcohol and taken more than her prescribed medication, the team at Lighthouse was unable to see her as it operates a zero tolerance policy.

The team did offer to see her the following evening, and subsequently referred her to the crisis team - Access Liaison Integration Service (ALIS) which is part of the Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (CNTW).

ALIS tried to make contact with Michelle twice that night, once at 11pm, and again at 1.54am - both attempts were unsuccessful. The team then took the decision - based on an assessment of Michelle in February - that she was a low risk and didn’t call the police.

The failings of Michelle receiving treatment for her mental health problems sparked the CNTW to change some of its policies.

CNTW has now streamlined its system from three tiers to two. All patients who are on the waiting list will now receive monthly calls to check on them and will go no longer than three months without face to face contact where they will be reassessed.

The trust has now introduced risk assessment formulation training where teams look at all aspects of a person’s life when assessing them. This training has already been made available and is still ongoing.

In his concluding statement, Dr Nicholas Shaw, coroner, said: “Michelle Walsh had endured many family tragedies and was under ongoing social stress. She has in the past expressed significant suicidal feelings and was awaiting care.

“On the night of July 17 to 18 she had conceived a moderate amount of alcohol and an excess of prescribed medication before immersing herself in the bath. She was discovered lifeless but her heart was restarted, she was admitted to hospital where she was later declared brain dead.

“She died on 20 July, 2018. The cause of death was suicide.”

Michelle’s brother Steven and sister-in-law Angela paid tribute to her. calling her “one in a million".

They said: “She was such an amazing, kind, caring, beautiful woman and it’s hard to put into words exactly how to describe her.”