Fatal overdose of Theresa May’s niece, 20, inspires PM’s mental health campaign

Theresa May's push to improve Britain's mental health services has reportedly been influenced by the tragic death of her 20-year-old niece.

Vikki McQuaid's mother Cathy, the sister of the Prime Minister's husband Philip, found her body – a family tragedy May has never spoken publicly about.

Shortly before her death almost six years ago, Vikki, who was also the PM's goddaughter, had told a friend she feared she could never have a baby following two miscarriages.

An inquest heard Vikki, from Bodmin, Cornwall, had written a note before her death in August 2013, stating: "I’m sorry, it’s unbearable without children."

A post-mortem found Vikki had taken a combination of two over-the-counter drugs, and each dose was potentially fatal, The Sun on Sunday reported.

Her mother told the inquest she did not believe her daughter intentionally took her own life.

She said: "Victoria could be very impulsive and often didn’t think things through. I don’t think she meant to kill herself."

May announced last October additional support for mental health care for young Britons, and a campaign to train a million people in mental health awareness.

She pledged up to £1.8million to support The Samaritans helpline on World Mental Health Day.

She also appointed MP Jackie Doyle-Price as Britain's first Minister for Suicide Prevention.

Speaking at the time, May said: "There are few greater examples than the injustices facing those with mental health issues.

"But together we can change that. We can end the stigma that has forced too many to suffer in silence.

"We can prevent the tragedy of suicide taking too many lives.

"And we can give the mental wellbeing of our children the priority it so profoundly deserves."

The night before Vikki's body was found, she had visited her close friend, Laura Watts, and then returned to her family home in Bodmin, the inquest heard.

Ms Watts said: "She started crying and she believed she would never be able to have a baby."

Vikki's boyfriend Ziggy Matheson, who fathered one of the babies she lost, told the inquest she was not herself that night and was not sleeping well.

Mr Matheson, the last person to see Vikki alive, said he left the following morning believing she was sleeping heavily and did not take any notice of a note left in the room.

Recording an open verdict, Cornwall coroner Dr Emma Carlyon said there was not enough evidence to prove that Vikki intended to take her own life.

May has previously spoken about another goddaughter, whose death inspired the NHS initiative to fight cancer.

Teresa Brasier, the 47-year-old daughter of one of Mrs May's cousins, died of cancer in December 2017.

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