Malo Ricesara: Tragedy at death of Sheffield University student with ‘beautiful soul’

The Sheffield University student was still awarded his degree after he tragically took his own life.
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A university student who struggled with his mental health took his own life, an inquest has concluded.

Malo RicesaraMalo Ricesara
Malo Ricesara

At Sheffield’s Medico Legal Centre, an inquest was held into the death of Malo Ricesara - a 21-year-old described by his mother, Rachel, as a "beautiful soul". 

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Malo, a third year psychology student at the University of Sheffield, was tragically found unresponsive on Ringinglow Road by a National Trust ranger on June 11 of this year after he was reported missing by police.

Sheffield-born Malo lived on Betjeman Gardens with his university housemates. It was heard in court on October 6 how Malo’s struggles - which he had kept a secret from his family - were first made known to the university on February 17. Malo’s housemate had contacted the wellbeing service after finding out he had made a suicide attempt. 

Giving evidence, Megan Hubbard, head of student experience and support, said the "seriousness of the situation" saw the university take immediate action and asked the health service to reach out to Malo. An email which signposted relevant services was also sent to Malo.

Dr Elizabeth Collins, a GP at the University Health Service, met with Malo for a one-hour consultation with him. He told her of his previous suicide attempt and how he had to go to A&E after injuring his hand, but he did not stay to speak to the crisis team. 

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She said it was "difficult to engage" with him, but he reassured her that he didn’t feel suicidal anymore. Another appointment was scheduled in two weeks’ time. She then asked the crisis team to assess him that following weekend, but they could not contact him. 

Dr Collins met with Malo again on March 16 where she described him as "more talkative" than before, but she felt there was something he wasn’t telling her. On March 29, Dr Collins was still "worried" about Malo and asked for his consent to share his struggles with his personal tutor, who he was in contact with. He consented.

On May 12, Malo’s housemate contacted the wellbeing team again. Dr Collins’ colleague had a telephone conversation with Malo and offered a follow-up, but he declined.

Dr Collins said: "At that point I looked through the notes and I felt we had done everything we could really do, so we didn’t make any further contact. 

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"We believed he had all of the information and if he wanted help he could have asked us in a variety of different ways."

She added that mental health issues make up 50 per cent of her workload.

Single Point of Access, a mental health crisis service, was made aware of Malo’s mental health issues by the GP on March 3. Following a phone call, he was discharged from the service on March 7 back to the University Health Service.

A pen portrait from the family, read out by assistant coroner for Sheffield Marilyn Whittle, said they were not aware of his mental health issues. They said Malo "lit up the lives of all those around him", and he was a "calm person with a beautiful soul", who was "able to make conversation with anyone". 

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Malo had taught children English in Thailand, taken on the university’s charity hitchhike challenge from Sheffield to Barcelona, and enjoyed skateboarding, hiking in the Peak District, and wild swimming.

It ended: "We would like to record just how much we love and miss him. We cherish the time we had with him."

Ms Hubbard said Malo was still awarded his psychology degree by the University of Sheffield.

Coroner Whittle said: "He died following an intention to take his own life. My conclusion is that of suicide."

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, the Samaritans is able to help – the charity’s free helpline number is 116 123.