A woman from Bury St Edmunds had called a mental health helpline more than 600 times since April 2020, a court heard.

On Monday, an inquest into the death of Alexandra Benton concluded at Suffolk Coroners’ Court in Ipswich.

Miss Benton was a much-loved daughter, sister and aunt from Bury St Edmunds, who died on September 4 last year, aged 25.

The court heard that Miss Benton had struggled with her mental health for a number of years and was diagnosed with Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (EUPD) and obsessive compulsive disorder, which took the form of unkind voices which would berate her if she accepted help from others.

Miss Benton’s family paid tribute to their daughter in a ‘pen portrait’, which was read before the court by presiding coroner Mr Daniel Sharpstone.

Miss Benton was, they said, a clever girl who worked hard to attain good GCSE grades. She began to struggle to cope with the pressures of school during her A Levels and had to drop out.

She then found a job at a local dog creche, which she greatly enjoyed. However, after two years this, too, became too stressful, and Miss Benton was not able to work for the final years of her life.

As she grew older, Miss Benton struggled more and more with anxiety and depression. A statement from David Nankivell, operational service manager for Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT), said that Miss Benton had called NSFT’s first response service 637 times since it was launched in April 2020.

From November 25, 2020, Miss Benton had been living at 86 Hospital Road, a mental health supported housing unit run by Julian Support. In April of 2022, Miss Benton was transferred to her own flat at 88 Hospital Road, where she lived with her dog, Ellie.

Miss Benton made a number of calls to NHS 111 in the months and weeks leading up to her death.

The court heard that, on the day of Miss Benton’s death, she managed to take medication from a secure storage place outside her home, and walked quickly back inside before the member of staff was able to react.

Emergency services were called, and Miss Benton was taken to West Suffolk Hospital. However, despite the best efforts of all who cared for her, Miss Benton died later that evening.

Mr Sharpstone recorded a conclusion of suicide, and ended proceedings by offering his condolences to Miss Benton’s family.

If you need urgent mental health support call NHS 111 and select option 2 or the Samaritans on 116 123. Both services are available 24 hours 7 days a week.