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Model 'felt her life was over' - INQUEST EVIDENCE.

Byline: By Catherine Lillington

A BIRMINGHAM model who conquered the fashion world believed she had achieved everything she could in life and died after an overdose of anti-depressants.

January Dickson was photographed by David Bailey and had graced the catwalks of New York, Milan, Paris and London.

Community psychiatric nurse Sean Dale told the inquest at Birmingham Coroner's Court that January was being treated for depression and a borderline personality disorder.

Mr Dale said: "She did discuss suicide, it had been something she was talking about for quite a long time.

"She had a very amazing life, a very full life. She'd kind of reached a point where she felt her life was over and that she'd done everything she needed to do."

He said she had overdosed twice in the past - in 1998, then again in 2002, which he said she described as a "cry for help".

But he added January was keen to try any help offered to her and when he saw her four days before she died she seemed "very bright, very positive".

January's friends and family also said she had appeared well in the days and weeks before she was found dead at her flat, in Gillott Road, Edgbaston, on January 28 - the day before her 44th birthday.

Deputy coroner Christopher Ball said: "We know that physically Miss Dickson was a healthy lady. The problem is with mental health problems they're every bit as real as physical illness. Not everybody realises there are mental health problems.

"Clearly something did change because we know from chemical analysis that Miss Dickson took an overdose of amitriptyline, one of the anti-depressants she was prescribed."

Mr Ball recorded an open verdict. Speaking after the inquest, her mother Jean Guttridge struggled to hold back tears as she spoke of her daughter.

She said: "She was tall, she was beautiful and automatically you would look at her and you would think she's got it all."

Mrs Guttridge, aged 75 and living in Dumfries, added there was a lack of support for people with mental illness.

She said: "It's tragic when something like this happens. There doesn't seem to be enough back-up for families."

January, a former pupil at Bartley Green Girls' School, forged a top career on the fashion scene in the 1980s after being photographed by Lord Lichfield, who advised her to try her luck at modelling.

She had been working as an events manager when she died after returning to live in Birmingham about six years ago.

CAPTION(S):

OVERDOSE... January Dickson.; OVERDOSE... January Dickson had mental health problems.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Jun 27, 2007
Words:430
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