Lindsay Riddoch. Mental health activist. An appreciation

MY daughter, Lindsay Riddoch, who has taken her own life aged 24, was an ardent and articulate advocate for better mental health services, a historian, poet, pub-quizzer and demon game-player.

She was a fiercely independent thinker and debater, intent on exposing injustice. If she saw something wrong, she would try and right it, and often talked about becoming a politician in later life. She laughed a lot, and was a loyal and loving friend to many. She threw herself into life.

Lindsay was born in Edinburgh on 1 January 1993. She made a major impact at Boroughmuir High School, doing work experience in the Scottish Parliament and with the Scottish Government. She was a diver, trampoliner and trombone player, winning awards.

Aged 16, she won a place at United World College of the Atlantic near Cardiff. She joined a youth delegation helping less developed countries at the global climate summit at Cancun, Mexico, in 2010. She launched a website to help teenagers with mental health problems, and persuaded the TV presenter, Stephen Fry, to help promote it on social media.

At the University of London’s School of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS), she studied history, specialising in Islam and the Middle East, and graduated with a first class honours degree in 2014. She also learnt Arabic, and was active in student politics.

She volunteered at London Nightline, a charity offering confidential support for students, and in the Westminster office of the Green MP, Caroline Lucas. Her first job was with the digital activist group, 38 Degrees, where she campaigned for MPs to be more accountable.

In 2015 she joined the NHS working with mental health service users in Camden, and then became a service development officer with the mental health charity, Rethink. Her career options seemed manifold.

In July 2016 she admitted herself to Highgate Mental Health Centre, later moving to Cornerstone House in Borehamwood. There she ended her long and hard struggle with serious but ill-understood mental health problems.

In her last two years, poems poured out of Lindsay, angry, personal, political, dark and funny, lucidly probing her demons and the world at large. She performed some at The Roundhouse in London and posted others online. She is sorely missed.

She is survived by her sister, Robyn, her mother, Fiona, the wider family, a host of good friends and me.