THE niece of a man who killed himself after being turned away by the NHS has spoken out after receiving a “plethora of abuse” online.

Gillian Murray, 28, previously accused Scottish ministers of treating her family "like absolute dirt" and called for a public inquiry into mental health services at NHS Tayside.

Her uncle David Ramsay took his life in 2016 at the age of 50, after he was twice rejected for treatment at the Carseview psychiatric unit at Ninewells in Dundee.

But after the case was raised by Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard during First Minister’s Questions, Ms Murray said she was subject to a barrage of abuse on social media.

She wrote on Twitter: “To those who think it’s OK to troll a grieving family, you should all be ashamed.”

One Twitter user accused her of being “just a puppet” happy to do the bidding of Labour and the Conservatives, adding: “Shame on you.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon took to social media to defend Ms Murray's right to raise her concerns.

She wrote: "Patients and their families should never be criticised for raising issues or concerns about the NHS."

Scottish Labour's health spokesman Anas Sarwar MSP insisted political debate and disagreements "are an important part of democratic life".

He added: “But anyone who thinks abusing a grieving family is part of everyday political discourse really needs to take a look at themselves.

“Gillian Murray has shown tremendous courage in helping to bring this hugely important issue to the public’s attention. She deserves praise, not abuse.

“This ugliness says more about the troll. Imagine this was your family."

Ms Murray previously said she was a member of the SNP before her uncle died, but tore up her membership card after feeling ignored by ministers and local MSPs in the aftermath of the tragedy.

She also joined calls for Health Secretary Shona Robison to resign, insisting: "She has to. There's no doubt about that."

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie – who has been outspoken on mental health issues – branded the abuse “absolutely disgusting”.

He added: “Government ministers must condemn this behaviour immediately. Gillian Murray should be applauded for the campaign she has led to draw attention to deficient mental health services.

"The Suicide Prevention Strategy is well over a year late despite a rise in suicides. The Scottish Government should never have allowed it to expire in the first place.

“Many of these tragic and unnecessary deaths can be avoided. SNP ministers must take urgent, bold action to support people who may feel isolated and be struggling with their mental health.”