Devastating detail in teen's secret diary found after her death

Olivia Lambert
·News Editor
·5-min read

A teen girl who tragically took her own life on her way home from a party had a secret diary that revealed her mental health struggles.

Uma Gupta died in March 2019 after she became distressed during the party in Manchester, England, and said she wanted to "kill herself", according to an inquest.

The Manchester Evening News reports the inquest heard she had been bullied at school in the lead-up to her death.

The 14-year-old, who performed in a choir during Ariana Grande's One Love concert after the Manchester terrorist attack, wrote of her depression in her diary and in one entry said she had been planning to take her life "for ages".

"Don't be upset. I wasn't happy and things weren't going to change," she wrote on October 10, 2018, the Manchester Evening News reported.

"Just imagine I was never here.

"I loved my family and friends. I planned this for ages."

Uma Gupta poses for a photo while sitting on train tracks.
Uma Gupta died by suicide in 2019. Source: GoFundMe

The inquest heard the diary entry was written just a month after a distant relative died by suicide.

Uma's family described the teen as the "life and soul" of the party and said she did not struggle to make friends.

"She loved life and will be missed by everyone. She lit up a room whenever she walked in. The family home is not the same since she died. It's very quiet," the family said in a statement, according to Manchester Evening News.

The inquest heard Uma seemed happy the night she died but those who attended the party claimed she was crying in the kitchen and bathroom and said, "I don't want to be here".

She then left and never made it home.

School 'aware of bullying' before Uma's death

In December 2018, Uma was taken to hospital where she received a mental health assessment after she was found in a distressed state on the street.

The inquest heard she told a psychiatrist a girl at school had been bullying her and threatened to stab her.

Manchester Evening News reports Parrs Wood High where she attended was aware of the bullying that was occurring, but claimed there had been no incidents reported after mid-January 2019.

The outside of the Parrs Wood High School in Manchester.
Parrs Wood High said it was aware of bullying. Source: Google Maps

The school added it took a number of steps to prevent the bullying, including the exclusion of the culprit.

A GoFundMe page was set up following Uma's death, raising money for a bench in Didsbury Park.

"We lost a friend, a sister and a beloved daughter to suicide," the GoFundMe page said.

"We want something to remember our gorgeous Uma by and a place to go to feel connected to her."

Grim statistics reveal reality of mental health struggles

In Australia, more than 65,000 people attempt to take their own life every year.

There are nine people a day dying by suicide, which is double the road toll in Australia.

According to Lifeline, suicide is also the leading cause of death in those aged 15 to 44.

Head of Crisis Services at Lifeline, Rachel Bowes, told Yahoo News Australia the best thing people can do to help somebody with depression is let them know you’ve noticed something is wrong.

“Just ask, ‘Is there something on your mind?’ Let them know you’re there if they want to talk,” she said.

“Our advice, it’s the same we do at Lifeline, is be a good listener. You’re there to offer support and give advice, not find a solution or fix that person’s problem.”

As we enter 2021, after struggling through a devastating 2020, Yahoo News Australia has teamed up with Lifeline to tell the truth about mental health with real stories from real people.

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Ms Bowes said people with mental health issues were often looking for an opportunity to offload, and the most powerful thing others could do was accept their experience and not be judgemental.

She said people should also not shy away from asking a friend or family member directly about suicide.

“It’s not something a lot of people do but practise asking if they’ve been thinking about suicide,” she said.

“It’s a really powerful thing you can do for somebody. It normalises it and introduces the subject.

“You’re creating that opportunity for them to talk about thoughts they’ve had and it’s a pretty scary and hard question to ask, but at Lifeline we ask every single caller that question.”

Dealing with mental health issues in children

According to Professor Harriet Hiscock from the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, mental health is a massive issue among children.

Research conducted by Professor Hiscock found 14 per cent of kids aged 4 to 17 met the criteria for having one or more mental health issues.

Professor Hiscock says when dealing with the mental health of a child, getting angry won’t help them despite how frustrated a parent may feel.

For young children, it’s instead important to be clear and open with them.

“If you’re dropping your child off at school explain what you’re planning on doing – when and where you’re picking them up and at what time,” Professor Hiscock said.

“If there are ongoing issues with a child – speak to your GP about the next course of action.”

Teens can be “really hard” especially if they are unwilling to open up.

But Dr Hiscock said parents “can’t give up”.

“Speak to a counsellor or teacher if you have to but also try to keep talking to them,” she said.

Readers seeking support and information about youth suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800, ReachOut Australia or the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.

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