Lucas Backhouse: Reader reaction to teenager who took his own life after feeling overwhelmed with his A-Level maths

The "super bright" college student took his own life after feeling overwhelmed with his A-level maths course, an inquest heard.

By Andy Moffatt
Thursday, 21st April 2022, 12:30 pm
Updated Thursday, 21st April 2022, 1:39 pm

Lucas Backhouse, 18, began skipping lessons at Cardinal Newman Sixth Form College in Preston because he was struggling to cope with extra sessions designed to help him catch up.

Assistant Coroner Sara Sutherland was told the popular explorer scout from Garstang had mentioned to his brother he had once contemplated suicide.

But teachers and friends all said he had shown no signs of taking his life despite the difficulties he had been having at college.

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Reaching a conclusion of "suicide," Assistant Coroner Sutherland said there were "a number of outstanding questions" that Lucas's family still had and his death had clearly taken everyone by surprise.

Readers offered their condolences to Lucas’ heartbroken family and urged others struggled to seek help.

Here’s a selection of what our readers had to say on the lep.co.uk Facebook page.

Rachael Anne Mac: This is so desperately sad. No course should ever make anyone feel this hopeless.

Laura McGarry: Rest in peace, you was such a lovely boy

Brian Walmsley: RIP and condolences to all. Academic people have to realise that its not a failure to be normal. A very good looking young man who has left us.

Zoey Sutton: Why do they push these tests on students. People who skipped school and went onto trade schools make more.money than the uni brigade.

Samantha Johnstone-Moran: Sending condolences to his family. My son was good friends with Lucas he was a lovely young man with great charm and charisma he will be missed by many.

Donna Bertie: Education is not as important as you're mental health and wellbeing, and if a child mentions once that he felt suicidal then clearly that should of been taken seriously even if he didn't act upon it at first. My heart goes out to his family to lose him at such a young age.

Rachael Simm: My son started his college life doing four A-Levels, one being maths, it got to much for him, luckily he was brave enough to say no Im struggling and dropped it. My heart goes to his family

Dawn Gough: Its all about showing which establishment has more high grade students than the other. Ive had it with my daughter at school and was an A star student as they put it, but they didn't realise the impact this had on her for two years.

Alison Gudgeon: So very sad. Such a tragic loss of a young, bright lad

Gill Bonnett: This is so sad my heart goes out to his family and friends. Sixth forms are too focused on targets.

Lee Davey: Extremely sad condolences to family and friends.

Julie Mcdonald: Study and results are not the end all of the end game - for some- they will find their own path in life and will end up as successful as their peers. Let’s just keep encouraging them to find their own path, no matter how much potential we see in them to do otherwise.