Woman with history of depression took her life

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POLICE found the body of a woman hanging in her bathroom after a frantic call from her partner, who was overseas.

Officers had to break down the door to Heidi Mason’s home in Vicarage Road after receiving a call from her boyfriend who had not heard from her while away in Kenya.

Miss Mason, 40, was found dead at home on May 23 last year.

An inquest into the editor and writer’s death on Wednesday heard she had battled with depression since her teens.

Carl Jackson, her partner of 23 years, became worried about her so contacted police.

PC Lauren Barnes, who went to Miss Mason’s home, said: “Her partner had concerns for her as she had tried to commit suicide 10 years previously.”

Miss Mason’s mother, Daphne Lewis, said: “Her father left us when she was three years old and I believe this had a big psychological effect on her.

“She was a happy child at school and had lots of friends with whom she kept in touch.”

Mrs Lewis said her late daughter was a keen cyclist, who won many medals and trophies across Kent and Sussex but had to give up competitive cycling after being knocked off her bike in May 2009.

Miss Mason also founded Hastings-based company Westhill Knowledge Group with her partner in 2003, specialising in editing on-screen public sector and academic texts.

Her mother said: “When I asked her about her problems she would back me away.

“We were not aware of the extent of her problems. Her mood would be constantly up and down.

“At the end of April I went to the States and called her several times and sent text messages to her.

“Her partner was away in Kenya so I knew she would be on her own.

“She was fine and said she was looking forward to seeing my photos.”

Mr Jackson said his girlfriend first had mental health problems when they were both at university.

He said: “Her concentration would be affected but Heidi was very determined to cope with her symptoms.”

Her friend, Jacqueline Campbell, described Miss Mason as a ‘very close and intimate friend’.

Dr Brian Higginson, Miss Mason’s GP, said she was first diagnosed with depression in 1993 and schizoid personality disorder in 1995.

Coroner Alan Craze recorded a verdict of suicide.