Actress, 19, who felt ugly after scouring social media found hanged in wardrobe – Mirror Online
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An aspiring teen actress who suffered from low self-esteem was found hanged in her wardrobe by her father, an inquest heard.
Shante Stephenson, 19, from east London, took her own life a week after being assessed as ‘no longer in crisis’ by the NHS.
She had low self esteem about her career and particularly her appearance, frequently looking at social media sites and comparing herself to her peers, the Walthamstow Coroner’s Court heard.
Shante was supposed to have medication delivered to her the day she died that was two days late.
The inquest also heard Shante had made an attempt on her life a year before her death before being referred to Impart, a mental health crisis team at Waltham Forest NHS Trust.
Dr William Travers, a consultant psychiatrist with the Impart home treatment team, met Shante seven days after her attempted suicide on July 18.
Shante was concerned about her career and her physical appearance (Image: mirror.co.uk)
Dr Travers said in the court: “It [the overdose] seemed to have been triggered by an experience she had performing a role in a theatre show case, she didn’t think she performed it well, and she was dwelling on it, replaying it over and over in her mind.
“After it she had spoken to her friend and reported a feeling of hopelessness during the phone call – that is when she developed the idea.”
He was also told by Shante that at the age of 11 she was focused on ‘not being good enough’ regarding on her career ambitions and ‘her physical appearance’.
Shante was said to have been continuously comparing herself to her peers and frequently looking at multiple social media sites.
Dr Travers said: “She told me she was concerned about her weight, which was normal, but that she used to weigh more and wanted to lose more.”
The court has heard that Shante had tried to hang herself at home after a family argument when she was 12.
She was referred to the experts after her second suicide attempt on June 4.
She often compared herself to her peers and suffered with low self esteem (Image: mirror.co.uk)
Within the same month, psychiatrists decided Shante did not need the crisis services as they evaluated her as ‘positive, optimistic with future planning and had no suicide thoughts’.
Shante’s father found her hanging in her wardrobe after a friend, who was staying with them, came home from church without her on June 27.
The coroner ruled that although this was a “tragic” addition to the events that unfolded, it could not be known what might have happened if the medicine delivery was on time.
Astrid Duminy, the crisis team manager at North East London Hospital Trust said: “I don’t know exactly what triggered Shante’s suicide, all I know is that Shante’s job situation was playing on her mind – I might be just grasping at straws.”
Assistant Coroner Ian Wade ruled the teen’s death was suicide.
He said in court: “No-one could sensibly have identified her to be in a crisis – a clinician described Shante as someone who had insight, who had future plans, someone who was open and amenable to the sorts of therapy that was appropriate for her.
“There isn’t any reason for anyone to berate themselves or have any lingering sense of responsibility.”
The coroner passed on his ‘deepest condolences’ to Shante’s father Ian Stephonson, who attended the inquest.
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