A BRITISH pole-dancing champion hanged herself after struggling during lockdown, an inquest heard.
Tragic Jessica Leanne Norris, 27, was found unresponsive at a pal's house in Bolton on June 15 last year.
An inquest heard how the two-time winner of Miss Pole Dance UK had pinned a note on her bedroom door, saying: "Don't come in. Ring 999. I'm so sorry."
A note was also found for Jessica's nan telling her she loved her following the tragedy.
The hearing was told Jessica had struggled with mental health issues since she was a teenager.
Her mum Alanna Norris said: "Jess led a life of structure, and struggled when lockdown meant that she could not teach or take part in pole-dancing competitions."
Jessica had been staying at friend Brian Crompton's house when the first lockdown was imposed in March last year.
She had been working as a fitness instructor and was being prescribed anti-depressants.
On the morning of her tragic death, Mr Crompton had got up and left for work.
He texted Jessica later in the day asking how she was but received no response.
When he returned home, he discovered Jessica in her bedroom.
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EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide.
It doesn't discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.
It's the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.
And men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.
Yet it's rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.
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The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.
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If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:
- CALM, www.thecalmzone.net, 0800 585 858
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- Papyrus, www.papyrus-uk.org, 0800 068 41 41
- Samaritans, www.samaritans.org, 116 123
The hearing was told a toxicologist found no evidence of drugs or alcohol in her system.
Prof Alan Walsh, area coroner for Manchester West, recorded a conclusion of suicide.
Jessica was a keen pole dancer and set up her first studio when she was just 15.
She went on to claim the title of Miss Pole Dance UK in 2011 and 2015.
In 2019, she launched a fundraising drive in aid of mental health charities.
Kay Penney, the founder of Miss Pole Dance UK, described Miss Norris as a “national treasure”.
She said: “Thank you for your contribution and as a true ambassador for the aerial arts, touching so many lives, hearts and souls, lifting many of us with your entertaining, unforgettable and mesmerising routines.
“Thank you for your unquestionable dedication and sharing your talent through many classes, masterclasses, camps, events and competitions.
“You shone like a beacon of hope on so many stages and your legacy will live on forever in the history of pole and personally as my pole daughter, who constantly showed your gratitude over the years and during your reign as double female singles champion.”
If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this article, please call the Samaritans for free on 116123.
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