Alice Beer: Heartbreak over death of Sheffield teenager 'moving herself forward' after mental health issues

Alice had told a GP that prescribed mental health medication was working well
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The death of 19-year-old from Sheffield who was making good progress in battling mental health issues has been ruled as "misadventure" in an inquest.

Alice Beer, also known as Trevor, died on February 15, 2023. A pathology report concluded Alice's medical cause of death was hanging. The death was ruled to be "misadventure" by Assistant Coroner Rebecca Connell.

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The inquest heard how Alice suffered from Gender Dysphoria, identified as gender neutral and was working with the Gender Identity service in Sheffield for some time before her death.

It was heard how a GP had sent Alice to A&E at the Northern General Hospital on July 28, 2022, after she had taken an overdose of household medication four days prior. During the visit, Alice took part in a crisis assessment with mental health nurse, Pippa McGowan.

Ms McGowan told the Coroner, Alice had said she "didn't want to die" during the crisis assessment and there was "no sign" of intention from Alice to end their life.

Alice was referred to the Primary Mental Health Team. Ms McGowan told the court she did not believe Alice returned to A&E after that point.

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The inquest heard Alice had been prescribed mental health medication by her GP, after admitting to having thoughts of self-harm and ending her life. Shortly before her death in February, Alice had told a GP the medication was working well.

Alice's parents, Matthew and Michelle Beer, told the inquest "things seemed to be going well" for Alice, but she "did not speak much to the family" and was a "very private" person.

Following Ms Connell's conclusion that Alice's death was "misadventure", Michelle Beer spoke about how Alice, who had attended Parkwood Secondary School and the Sheffield College in Hillsborough, was "a really lovely child" and "was happy".

An inquest into the death of 19-year-old Alice Beer has taken place at Sheffield's Medico-Legal Centre.An inquest into the death of 19-year-old Alice Beer has taken place at Sheffield's Medico-Legal Centre.
An inquest into the death of 19-year-old Alice Beer has taken place at Sheffield's Medico-Legal Centre.

In a statement read to the inquest, Mr Beer told the court how Alice was born on May 8, 2003, along with a twin sister, Holly, who she was very close with growing up. The statement told how Alice was diagnosed with autism as a young child and did well in junior school.

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The court heard how Alice began to struggle academically in secondary school, and later went to the Sheffield College's Hillsborough Campus, where she took her maths and english GCSEs. Through the college, Alice volunteered once a week at St Luke's Hospice, where she worked to build her confidence.

At the age of 18, Alice was diagnosed with ADHD. In 2021, she went to her GP where it was acknowledged Alice had Gender Dysphoria. A statement from Alice's GP described her as "always being a tomboy".

On the day she died, Alice's parents said they had seen her making cups of tea around an hour before her death.

Mrs Beer said Alice had asked her if she wanted a cup of tea. She said: "She came in and hugged me and said 'I love you mum'."

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Before Ms Connell paused proceedings to come to a conclusion, Mrs Beer told the inquest how she felt Alice had intended to end her life. Touching her chest, she said: "I just know it in here."

Mr Beer told the Coroner he was of the conclusion Alice's death was not intentional.

After the pause in proceedings, the Coroner returned the conclusion that Alice's death was "misadventure" - adding she could not conclude, given what had been heard in the court about Alice's good progess, that Alice had intended to end her life.

Ms Connell told the family: "I am sorry for your loss... It sounded like she was really trying to move herself forward."

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