The father of 15-year-old Molly Russell, who tragically took her own life, has said his daughter reached out to celebrity influencers on social media in a cry for help.
Ian Russell said Molly’s family had no idea of the mental health problems she suffered and she seemed disinterested in social media.
An inquest into Molly’s death in 2017 found last week that she had been exposed to disturbing material about self-harm and suicide on a Twitter account she kept from her family.
Molly’s father Ian Russell said his daughter had asked ‘people who were influencers, maybe followed by millions of people, to help her’
Molly Russell tragically took her own life in 2017 after being exposed to disturbing material online
Molly also reached out to social media influencers for help, but her father said she was ‘crying into an empty void’ and the chances of her being noticed by celebrities online were highly unlikely.
Russell added that he wished Molly had tried to talk to her family about her mental health instead.
Speaking to the BBC’s Today programme, he said: ‘There were no obvious signs that there was anything wrong with Molly, no obvious signs of mental ill-health. No sign from her social media feeds. We talked as a family about being safe online. Be careful about what you post and who you connect with online.
‘We followed each other on Twitter and Molly didn’t seem like a social media person. She seemed to be the least social media person in our family. She even deleted the Twitter account that we all followed.
‘Only as part of the investigation, and only because the coroner asked for platforms to give to the investigation, did we find out that Molly had actually set up a secret Twitter account that we knew nothing about. The one she primarily used to call for help.
‘Cry for help into an empty void. Asking people who were influencers, maybe followed by millions of people, to help her because she was thinking of ending her own life. As the chances of anyone answering, the odds were stacked against her.
‘If somehow she had been able to ask us as a family, God, we wish she had, because then we would have been able to help her and support her. ‘
The inquest heard how the teenager was exposed to content that ‘glamorised’ self-harm and would overwhelm suicide-related content online.
Russell said Molly’s family had no idea of the mental health issues she was suffering
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