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Job drive Clitheroe social worker to suicide
A SOCIAL worker committed suicide because of the growing pressures of her job, a coroner concluded.
Mother-of-two Julie Dugdale, of Kemple View, Clitheroe, was found hanged by members of her family the day after visiting her GP complaining of feeling anxious.
The 46-year-old had completed a degree and become a social worker in 2010, but when she was made to reapply for her job, found the situation very stressful.
Despite being successful, she found that her work load increased and had started to work from home significantly more.
Mrs Dugdale’s husband Gary, who works as an engineer, said his wife’s situation had also been made harder because of IT problems.
He said: “Julie was noticably preoccupied with work.
“She was not able to get through her work load without putting in extra work at home and then with the problems with IT, her hands were tied.
“Only right at the end, in the last week, it had a profound effect.
“She was not able to sleep for the last five nights of her life.
“I was really trying to be there as much as I could for her. I gave her the emotional support I could and I insisted she went to the doctors, which she did.”
Mrs Dugdale was given two weeks off work and advised to continue taking her medication, but was found dead the next day.
Elaine Block, deputy coroner for Blackburn with Darwen, Hyndburn and the Ribble Valley, said that although Mrs Dugdale had suffered anxiety problems around 10 years ago, she was not ill in the run up to her death.
She said: “The catalyst in this case was her situation at work. Her home life was stable, but she found it very difficult to cope with the situation, her work load and the problems the work load was bringing.
“It seems to me that Mrs Dugdale was a sensitive and conscientous person who had worked hard to get where she was and when she got there it was as though she had everything taken away from her.
“She took the situation she found herself in very much to heart.
“This was not a cry for help, it was an action she meant to have consequences and the only verdict I can return is that she killed herself while the balance of her mind was disturbed.”