Mental health has always been an important issue for Prince William. So much so, in fact, that the Duke of Cambridge is allegedly reaching out to the family of a young girl who died of suicide a few years back.
Molly Russell, 14, took her own life in November 2017. The late teen’s family believes she did so after seeing troubling images on social media. Ian Russell, Molly’s father, blames Instagram for being “partly responsible” for the tragedy and, per the BBC, Instagram issued a statement saying it “does not allow content that promotes or glorifies self-harm or suicide and will remove content of this kind.”
With all of this going on, a royal source tells People that William, 36, plans to “get in touch and offer sympathy and show support” to the family. Perhaps this is partly because Molly’s father has a connection to him. Ian is a TV director who worked on the royal’s 2011 wedding to wife Kate Middleton, reports The Sunday Times. “This is something he feels passionate about and he wanted to show his support.”
Back in 2016, Prince William created the Taskforce on the Prevention of Cyberbullying. This initiative’s focus is to put a combat online harassment of kids, specifically for children ages 12 to 14.
“I say this not in anger,” the father-of-three said in a speech from November 2018. “Again, I believe our tech leaders are people of integrity who are bringing many benefits to our lives and societies.”
While there are many good things social media can do for us, William believes there are negatives, too.
“I am very concerned though that on every challenge they face — fake news, extremism, polarization, hate speech, trolling, mental health, privacy and bullying — our tech leaders seem to be on the back foot,” he continued. “Their self-image is so grounded in their positive power for good that they seem unable to engage in constructive discussion about the social problems they are creating.”
Suicide hot line: If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.