The daughter of a former paediatric nurse who took her own life whilst suffering from depression has claimed her mum could have been saved if mental health services were better funded in Cornwall.

At an inquest into the death of 60-year-old Clare Fisher, her daughter Grace Fisher from Falmouth said in a statement that her mum's death should have been avoidable.

In a statement read out for her by Cornwall coroner Stephen Cox, Ms Fisher said: "I believe a series of inadequate support from the local mental health services played a pivotal role in her death. I'd like to begin this statement by saying I do not believe it is one individual's fault, but the fault within the wider system.

"I love and respect all the work NHS staff do, my mum was one of those staff members for many years with a good understanding of how underfunded and understaffed the NHS is, but I fundamentally believe the system is broken and if we don't fix the system and properly fund it we are going to continue to see people taking their own lives."

She said she believed this because her mum had an excellent GP when she lived in North Baddesley, Hampshire, but when she moved to Falmouth in 2020 to retire she did not have a strong connection with her GP at her local surgery where she only had access through telephone conversations until her death as part of the Covid response.

She claimed her mum was not offered a physical health check or an appointment with a psychiatrist and had never been asked if she had suicidal thoughts. She said there were flaws in her treatment and these could have been rectified if there was better funding of mental health services in Cornwall.

The inquest heard that Mrs Fisher had contacted her GP soon after moving to Cornwall as she suffered bouts of depression and her prescription wasn't working. She was offered a different type of drug which her daughter said she was "terrified" about because a changeover such as this can sometimes lead to people taking their own lives.

She said her mother had attempted to take her own life on May 10, 2021 but was dissuaded by a call to The Samaritans.

However, Mr Cox pointed out that, unknown to Ms Fisher, her mum was offered a referral to the community health team when she spoke to her GP about her depression but declined to take it.

He said he was not going to dispute that there was more that could be done with mental health services, in Cornwall or nationally, but from his review of the papers he couldn't see an obvious omission in the care or support that her mother had received.

"She's been offered support from the community mental health team and she's declined that," he said. "It is difficult to know what else the GP could have done."

On the morning of May 31, 2021 Mrs Fisher left her home in Falmouth, the inquest heard, saying she was going to go shopping at Sainsbury's in Helston and then going for a walk at St Michael's Mount near Penzance.


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When she failed to return and answer calls the family went looking for her. Her son Graham tracked her phone to an isolated dead end lane near Constantine in the evening. He and a friend drove to the site and found his mum unresponsive in the back of her car. They broke in but it was too late to save her, despite theirs and the emergency services best efforts. She had taken an overdose.

In a statement read out at the inquest her husband Peter said his wife had suffered from depression for many years and had regretted the move to Cornwall and they were in the process of moving back to Hampshire when she died.

Following her death a GoFundMe page set up by her daughter Grace raised over £4,000 for the mental health charity Sea Sanctuary Cornwall which can be found at

Mr Cox recorded a verdict of suicide.

If you need to talk to someone for any reason, there are people to reach out to:

  • Shout: Shout is a free, confidential, anonymous service for anyone in the UK. It won’t appear on your phone bill. To start a conversation, text the word 'SHOUT' to 85258.
  • Samaritans: Call day or night for free on 116 123. 
  • Mind: Get short and longer term support in a mental health crisis by visiting 
  • Man Down Cornwall: Supporting men's health in Cornwall at

If you feel like your life is at risk right now or you need urgent medical help call 999 and ask for an ambulance or go straight to A&E if you can.