The friends of an undergraduate who is thought to have taken his own life have launched a campaign to improve Aberystwyth University’s wellbeing services which are ‘failing vulnerable and suicidal students’.

Second-year computer science student Charlie McLeod, aged 25, had been suffering with depression before his suspected suicide in early February.

His girlfriend, fellow student Romana Nemcová, along with his family based in Alton, Hampshire, were informed about his death after his body was discovered at his student house - but the circumstances surrounding it are still to be determined at a coroner’s inquest.

Those close to Charlie - who remember him as intelligent, warm, funny and sensitive - believe the university’s wellbeing services failed in their duty of care once he had presented himself to them as suicidal.

His family and friends allege that his case was not treated with due concern or urgency, he was not supported appropriately, nor was he checked on after he underwent counselling and revealed intentions to harm himself.

Aberystwyth University says its student wellbeing team were in contact with Charlie throughout the 2022-23 academic year.

Ms Nemcová, a third-year education and psychology student at Aberystwyth University, launched a campaign that claims to have uncovered other cases where students have concerns over wellbeing services.

Ms Nemcová, aged 22, and four other students have organised a protest beginning at North Beach and progressing onto campus on Tuesday (2 May).

“He disclosed to wellbeing services he was suicidal and had a suicide plan. He then attempted suicide and ended up in hospital,” Ms Nemcová said.

“The next day he went to a counselling session and asked for help which wellbeing services didn’t provide, instead referring him to Samaritans and Mind.

“If someone is depressed and asking for help, they need support immediately.

“He then went home, and we suspect it was during the following day that he took his life.

“He was supposed to have another meeting a few days after his last appointment, which he didn’t attend. No one from the university checked on him.

“I spoke to him after his final counselling session, and he told me he felt judged, and the counsellor was passive aggressive – but he didn’t tell me he’d attempted suicide.

“Then he stopped messaging me. And I couldn’t get through to him as I was in Slovakia at the time and his family couldn’t either.

“They were scared. They called the university and someone from the accommodation office found him and called the police.

“When it came to suicide, he didn’t want to bother anyone – and obviously knew it would hurt us, so he was very private about it.”

Ms Nemcová last heard from Charlie several days before he was found. It is unclear on which day he might have ended his life, but his body was discovered on 3 February. He is thought to have had two appointments with a counsellor at wellbeing services, with his first on 19 January.

The students’ campaign demands better communication, student involvement, checks on vulnerable individuals and help for them when registering with GPs and support services. It also calls for clear guidance governing support workers’ responsibilities and an emergency contact.

Ms Nemcová said she and Charlie’s family attempted to speak with his counsellor after his death to understand their interactions but found the wellbeing services to be obstructive. “They clearly didn’t want us to see her,” she added.

The news comes during the same week Aberystwyth University scooped up two major industry awards including one for student satisfaction.

Charlie’s parents, Emma Laney and Richard McLeod, have joined forces with other bereaved relatives to try and raise awareness of suicides on campuses – and push through changes that would mean universities have a legal duty of care for students much like employers at workplaces.

Ms Laney said their campaign is designed to change the services available to students at Aberystwyth and universities across the country.

“Our goal is to campaign for better sharing of information with family and professionals,” she said. “To highlight the need for change - a change in law of legal duty of care. Charlie’s was not an isolated case!”

An Aberystwyth University spokesperson said: “Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with Charlie’s friends and family at such an extremely difficult time. Our student support team has been in close contact with, and providing support to, those affected by this tragedy.

“While we cannot go into individual circumstances, our Student Wellbeing team were in contact with Charlie throughout the 22/23 academic year, with the aim of providing direct support as well as linking to statutory NHS health and mental health services where appropriate.

“As a university, we offer extensive welfare services.

“Listening and acting on feedback from our students is very important to us. We continuously review our processes and update our practices, including drawing on external advice and evolving best practice, to ensure that we are giving our students the best support possible.

“We have recently been developing our provision in light of wider sector developments in this area and we remain in discussion with Charlie’s friends and family to ensure that all relevant circumstances receive the fullest possible consideration.”


Suicide and mental health charities:

Samaritans helpline

Call on 116 123, email at [email protected], or visit to find your nearest branch.


Call 0800 068 4141 or email on [email protected] or text 07860 039967

Suicide Prevention UK

Call 0800 689 5652

The DPJ Foundation

Call 07984169652 or 0800 587 4262 or email [email protected]


Call on 0300 123 3393 or email [email protected]. For Mind Aberystwyth, call 01970 626 225