A 24-year-old hairdresser has taken her own life after she invested her savings to open a salon and was forced to close amid the financial crisis brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
Alysson Jadin – from the city of Liege, Belgium – died by suicide on Monday.
The young hairdresser was allegedly devastated she had to close down her hair salon after investing the entirety of her savings to open it just a few months ago in August.
Even though she was aware businesses were suffering due to the pandemic, Ms Jadin believed in her dream so much she decided to take the risk and invest her savings of €25,000 (AU$40,828) to open up the salon.
In a recent interview with local media, she said: “Some thought that was daring, but if you don't go for it you won't get anywhere.”
Even though businesses in Belgium are offered financial aid by the government to alleviate the Covid crisis, Ms Jadin's salon was not eligible due to not being in business for long enough.
Soon she was faced with the harsh reality in the peak of the pandemic as government measures forced all non-essential businesses to close at the beginning of this month.
Belgium will be in lockdown until the middle of December, with non-essential shops and businesses that provide personal services – such as hair salons – closed, the BBC reported.
The country has more than 553,000 coronavirus cases with more than 15,300 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
As quoted by news outlet HLN, Ms Jadin said in an interview two weeks ago: “It is true that I can no longer provide for my basic needs.
“Food, heating, invoices that have to be paid, it is all very difficult financially.
“I have to make ‘ethical’ choices: do I pay the electricity bill so that my clippers continue to work or do I fill the fridge with food?”
Ms Jadin also said her accountant had advised her to close the business, which she refused to do after only three short months.
“I'll do whatever it takes, more hours if I need to, because after such a short time we do not announce a bankruptcy just like that, not after putting everything we had in it,” she added.
It is not clear what other possible motives could have played into the young woman's choice.
Ms Jadin's death has left a void in many people's lives who describe her as the most joyful and radiant person they knew.
According to local media, Belgium’s minister for the self-employed David Clarinval expressed his condolences to the hairdresser’s family and also strongly encouraged people experiencing the crisis to ask for help.
“I can’t comment on this matter because I am not fully informed, but I would like to express my condolences to the family,” he said.
“The government has the will to help everyone.
“We are experiencing an unseen crisis.
“We have released many resources to help citizens and the self-employed - some are in very specific situations.
“I understand there is some shame about it, but in times of crisis and despair, there are still social services.
“You should never hesitate to ask for help.”
Feeling worried or struggling to cope during the Coronavirus pandemic? Visit coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au or speak with trained counsellors on 1800 512 348.
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