Mental health nurse who yearned for baby took her own life

A passionate and dedicated mental health nurse who longed to have a baby tragically took her own life after overdosing on three months’ worth of migraine tablets.

Emily Orwin was found with a considerable amount of drugs in her bloodstream and her partner Helen Clough had to call for an ambulance when she started fitting on the floor of their Sheffield home on the morning of October 27, 2019.

She was blue lighted to Northern General Hospital and after her condition failed to improve, she fell into a cardiac arrest.

Doctors tried desperately to resuscitate the 39-year-old, but she could not be revived and she died later that afternoon.

Ms Orwin worked as a mental health nurse and was dedicated to her profession, according to Ms Clough.

Where to get help if you’re struggling

You don’t have to suffer in silence if you’re struggling with your mental health. Here are some groups you can contact when you need help.

Samaritans: Phone 116 123, 24 hours a day, or email jo@samaritans.org, in confidence

Childline: Phone 0800 1111. Calls are free and won’t show up on your bill

Platform 1 men’s community group: Support for issues including mental health problems and addiction recovery. Visit the website or call 01484 421143.

Andy’s Man Club: info@andysmanclub.co.uk

PAPYRUS: A voluntary organisation supporting suicidal teens and young adults. Phone 0800 068 4141

Mind: A charity offering support and advice for people with mental health problems.

Students Against Depression: A website for students who are depressed, have low mood, or are suicidal. Click here to visit

Bullying UK: A website for both children and adults affected by bullying. Click here

Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM): For young men who are feeling unhappy. There’s a website and a helpline: 0800 58 58 58

MindOut: Provide support and advice on mental health for members of LGBTQ communities. Phone 01273 234839

During an inquest at Sheffield Coroners’ Court into Ms Orwin’s death, her partner described how the pair had had “words” the night before after a discussion over Ms Orwin’s “binge drinking”.

Ms Clough said her girlfriend had brought up the subject of them having a baby and although they both wanted to raise a child, Ms Clough did not want to speak to her about the topic while she was seemingly drunk.

“It was after midnight and she started wanting to talk about having a baby,” Ms Clough said.

“She brought that up and I said I didn’t want to talk about when she’d been drinking. I said I wanted us to talk about it when neither of us had had a drink but she was passionate about it.

“She really wanted a baby and she thought she was on a clock because she had polycystic ovaries.

“I told her I wanted her to stop binge drinking before we had a child because I didn’t feel that was the right atmosphere to bring a child up in.”

Eventually, Ms Clough left her partner downstairs and headed to bed around 1am as she had work later that morning.

When she woke up, Ms Orwin was laid out on the floor covered by a shawl with a cushion under her head. She was breathing and Ms Clough said it was not abnormal for her partner to do this.

Ms Clough went to work but soon became sick with worry about her girlfriend and a gut feeling was telling her that something was wrong.

She rushed back home and found Ms Orwin was still on the floor. She then started to have a seizure and it was at that moment that Ms Clough called 999.

Ms Orwin’s parents and her sister, who are from East Sussex, attended the inquest on Thursday and admitted they were confused about how Ms Orwin’s mental health had seemingly declined so rapidly just two weeks after they last saw her.

Her father said: “We came up to Sheffield about two weeks before this happened and saw Helen and Emily, and Emily was extremely happy – she was the happiest we had seen her in years.

“This just didn’t seem to fit in and it was a bolt out of the blue.”

Ms Orwin’s mother added: “She was in a very good place. She was making plans with Helen to come down to visit us either before or at Christmas and we’d had a nice exchange.”

A toxicology report found that there was a worrying amount of a specific migraine drug in Ms Orwin’s system. However, it was noted that it was very rare for someone to die from an overdose of this drug, with only four cases previously recorded across the globe.

Ms Orwin had been prescribed the tablets for her migraines and a detailed toxicology report found that she had three months’ worth of tablets in her system at the time of her death.

After this finding, assistant coroner Tanyka Rawden said she could not rule this as an accident and therefore concluded that Ms Orwin took her own life.

She said: “Having looked at the level of [the drug] in her system, I don’t think this was an accident.

“I think this level is so high and the amount of medication needed to get to that level was so much that I don’t think this is a case whereby she has just taken extra pain medication because she was struggling without realising the effect this would have on her body.

“I think this was an intentional act on her behalf and I can’t answer the question why, and I know that is the question you really want answering.

“But what I can say is I believe this was her intention when she took those tablets and I do find she committed suicide and I am really sorry about that because I know it’s a horrible word for you as a family to hear.”


Yorkshire Live – Health