‘Beautiful’ waitress, 19, kills herself over coronavirus self-isolation fears

The family of a "beautiful" teen say she took her own life because she couldn't face self-isolating during the coronavirus crisis.

Waitress Emily Owen, 19, from Kings Lynn, Norfolk, died in hospital on Sunday after being found critically ill on Wednesday, March 18.

Her family said she became overwhelmed by the impeding health crisis and the “mental health impacts of isolation”.

The MailOnline reports Emily warned that: “More people will die from suicide during this than the virus itself”.

She took her own life after feeling her "world" was closing in while faced with her "plans being cancelled and being stuck inside”, her family said in an online tribute.

They are now demanding more mental health support for people like Emily, who had high-functioning autism, who may be struggling during the pandemic.

Her sister Annabel Owen, 21, paid tribute to her on Facebook, saying: “Emily was very concerned about coronavirus itself but more concerned about the mental health impact of isolation and the fear of the unknown.”

“We are all absolutely devastated but also immensely proud of everything she achieved in her life.

“So many people have messaged us saying how Emily helped them through hard times of their own, and we had no idea how much positive impact she had on those around her.

“To many people Emily was a really fun, energetic, happy girl, but only a few were aware of the many years of internal battles she had.

“Few people are aware but four years ago she was diagnosed with high-functioning autism and had a daily battle to fit in and conform to social norms.

“She didn’t want anyone to know, but now she has gone we want to make people know that autism comes in all shapes and sizes.”

The Kings Arms pub in Shouldham, Norfolk, where Emily worked, posted a tribute on its Facebook page, calling her "beautiful, funny" and "charming".

It read: "We are heartbroken that we won’t see her breeze through our doors like a tornado of energy again, or hear her distinctive laugh.

"She was a big part of our team and we will miss her enormously."

A fundraiser set up by the pub has raised more than £2,500 in Emily’s memory for the mental health charity Mind.

For emotional support, you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email [email protected], visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.

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