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Wednesday, Sep 27, 2023

HK woman took her own life in UK after struggling to pay for food and rent

HK woman took her own life in UK after struggling to pay for food and rent

A 27-year-old woman, who moved to London from Hong Kong last year, took her own life after she struggled to afford her rent and buy food.
Fion Ho Yee-king moved into a flat in Richmond in April 2022, in what her family thought was an exciting new chapter in her life, an inquest heard.

However, her brother Tommy Ho Yiu-hang said she told him she couldn't sleep, was uncomfortable with the state the flat was in, and struggling to afford her £900 "unhygienic" flat share.

He also revealed that Fion chose between eating only lunch or dinner each day in a desperate attempt to save money.

On November 3, Fion was found dead at her flat after Tommy asked a fellow tenant to check on her as Fion failed to show up for work or answer her phone.

Tommy would only later learn the full extent of his sister's struggles, including that she had even booked counseling sessions for depression due to take place just four days after she took her own life.

Her death was listed as a suicide, Coroner Dr Anton van Dellen confirmed on Tuesday.

A statement from Tommy, read by the coroner, said: "She mentioned to me on September 7 that since July, she was worried about her income and was not able to sustain her life in the UK and felt depressed."

"The hygiene condition of the bathroom made her feel uncomfortable … this made her pressure build up and fall to a loss of strength to work from home and live at home.

"She was scared she will be laid off from work due to stress and face a loss of income due to her poor working performance."

Fion completed her bachelor's degree in Hong Kong in 2017, followed by a master's degree in international affairs in Switzerland two years later. She then moved to the UK in 2022 and planned to stay there.

She had worked for the Hong Kong Red Cross and, at the time of her death, had been working for a charity promoting education for women and girls internationally.

Anton van Dellen described Fion as an "intelligent" and "dedicated" young woman and expressed his sorrow that her time in the UK had been so unhappy.

The coroner told the inquest: "Fion is an excellent example of the high calibre of person who is so welcome in England. She was clearly a very highly intelligent and dedicated humanitarian worker. The world is a much sorry-er place for not having her in organizations that help people in need.

"I hope her family holds dear to them the memory that Fion was someone who wanted to try and make the world a better place."

If you or someone you know has suicidal thoughts, help is available. Dial 2896 0000 for The Samaritans or 2382 2007 for Suicide Prevention Services.

You can also call Suicide Prevention Services at 2382 0000 or CEASE Crisis Centre of Tung Wah Groups of Hospitals at 18281.

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