Family make mental health plea in wake of 22-year-old Ipswich woman's death

Former Copleston High School, Parkside Academy and Suffolk New College student Rachael Conner has died. 

Former Copleston High School, Parkside Academy and Suffolk New College student Rachael Conner has died. - Credit: The Conner family

The family of Ipswich 22-year-old Rachael Lauren Conner has made a plea for mental health support following her death. 

Her sister Sophie Conner said she hopes through greater support the "desperately underfunded" mental health services in East Anglia can provide help for those struggling. 

Rachael who was "shy and introverted" throughout her life died on June 3, 2021.  

Her sister Ms Conner added: "She had the biggest heart and always put others' thoughts and feelings first, being extremely caring and kind to those around her.

Rachael Conner from Ipswich was very passionate about mental health. 

Rachael Conner from Ipswich was very passionate about mental health. - Credit: The Conner family

"Rachael adored animals and also took a great interest in protecting our planet, being a regular contributor to charities such as Water Aid and 4ocean, as well as mental health charities, too. 

"What we will do as a family moving forwards is to adapt more of Rachael's outlook on life and her life ethic and continue to be kind to others, ourselves and our planet whilst making sure we continue to promote the importance of Body Dysmorphic Disorder and mental health overall."

Rachael, who had Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), cared deeply about mental health. 

Money is being raised for Suffolk Mind and Body Dysmorphic Disorder after Rachael Lauren Conner's death

Money is being raised for Suffolk Mind and Body Dysmorphic Disorder after Rachael Lauren Conner's death - Credit: The Conner family

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Ms Conner, her sister, explained: "Rachael's wish was that a person's mental health should always come first, no matter what and we would like to emphasize, on behalf of Rachael and of the family she has left behind, for you to look after yourselves and to truly recognise how important your mental health is.

"Be kind to yourself and to others and do not be afraid to ask for help."

The family has raised nearly £4,000 in just over a couple of months for the Body Dysmorphic Disorder Foundation and Suffolk MIND at  rachaelconner.muchloved.com.

Rachael is missed by her mum and dad Joanne and Mark Conner, her older sister Sophie Conner and other close family members.  

An inquest was opened into her death by coroner Nigel Parsley at Suffolk's Coroner's Court on November 5. 

The court was told Ms Conner was found unresponsive after telling her mum she had gone for a nap. The inquest is set for March 11, 2022. 

If you need help and support, call Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust’s First Response helpline 0808 196 3494 or the Samaritans on 116 123. Both services are available 24 hours 7 days a week. You can also download the Stay Alive app on Apple & Android.

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