THE FAMILY of a teenager who took her own life after years of battling mental health issues have described her as 'beautiful inside and out'.

Alisha Nikita Andi Watts, who lived in Calver Close, Winnersh, was just 18 when she tragically took her own life on February 6 this year.

At an inquest into her death, held at Reading Town Hall on Thursday, August 9, her family described her as 'confident, easy going, sporty and academically talented.'

The coroner heard how Alisha, who had battled mental health problems from the age of 16 and been diagnosed with Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder, had recently been named 'Student of the Year' on her engineering course at Reading College, and had a bright future ahead of her.

She was discovered in her bedroom by her support worker, Leanne Palethorpe who was due to visit her. Ms Palethorpe called emergency services, but there was nothing that could be done to save Alisha, and she was pronounced dead at the scene.

The inquest heard how she had packed away her belongings, and written notes to her friends, family, boyfriend and college teachers, explaining what she was going to do, and when.

In a statement read aloud during the hearing, her family said: "Alisha spent all her short life around Twyford/Reading area. Her enthusiasm for everything and life in general, was there from a very young age, and Alisha grew into a confident, easy going, sporty and academically talented young woman, with a winning smile and a gentle aura about her. Many have described Alisha perfectly as ‘beautiful inside and out’.

"Alisha became unwell after a physical assault, at the age of 16, and her health deteriorated. Unfortunately, she did not get the help that she asked for and deserved, from the Trust.

"In September 2017, Alisha enrolled into college, loved her course, was in a loving relationship and had great enthusiasm for life. She talked about her future career in engineering, the universities she would be applying to, and even spoke about the children she will have.

"Alisha had such a huge impact on everyone that she met. In the short life she had, she achieved so much. She was able to make everyone she met feel special. She had a gorgeous smile and a great sense of humour. An amazing, incredible young woman who will not be forgotten.”

The coroner, Alison McCormick, addressed concerns that opportunities to save Alisha's life had been missed, but could not say whether the outcome would have been different.

She said: "Alisha was obviously a very beautiful girl, and I know how loved she was and how well supported she was by her family and friends.

"In so many ways she had everything to live for.

"I think the evidence is overwhelming that Alisha took her own life and intended to do so."

The coroner recorded a verdict of suicide.

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