Mum whose daughter took own life after watching harmful content online to take on gruelling mountain challenge

Ruth with daughter Sophie
-Credit: (Image: NSPCC)


A Scots mum whose teenage daughter took her own life after watching harmful material online is to walk the Pentland Skyline in her memory.

Ruth Moss, a nurse from Edinburgh, is raising funds for Childline, which helped support her daughter, Sophie, several times before her tragic death in 2014. Sophie passed away at the age of 13 after she was exposed to harmful content online, which included material that glorified suicide.

The schoolgirl battled with poor mental health throughout her teenage years. During her struggles, mum Ruth encouraged her to contact Childline when she was feeling very low or suicidal so that she could talk to someone, in confidence, who was professionally trained and independent from family and teachers.

Despite living with the grief of losing her daughter, Ruth is determined to bring about something positive from her tragedy by raising money for the free counselling service. The helpline, which is run by NSPCC, is available to young people up to the age of 19, 24 hours a day, all year round.

Ruth, 52, plans to complete the 16-mile route with a 5,577 ft climb with her husband Craig and two friends. She said: “This walk feels like a positive way of marking a tragic event. It’s happened to us, there’s nothing we can do to change that.

“But it’s comforting to know I’m helping other young people who may be struggling with their mental health in the same way that Sophie was, and it helps to keep her memory alive, which is hugely important to me.”

Sophie tragically died in 2014 at the age of 13
Sophie tragically died in 2014 at the age of 13 -Credit:NSPCC

Ruth added: “When you lose a child you are always wondering what they’d be doing now. I’ve watched some of her friends grow up into beautiful young women and men.

“Sophie would have turned 24 this month and I am thinking she would probably have finished university, she might have a job, where would she be living? There’s a whole future that didn’t happen for Sophie.

“I want to do something to help prevent another family from losing a child in such a tragic way.”

Last year, Childline delivered 105,366 counselling sessions with children across the UK where the child’s main concern was mental or emotional health, suicide or self-harm.

Ruth said: “Sophie used Childline for quite some time and while the outcome for her was tragic the service provided her with comfort, and I am so grateful to them for being there for her.”

To support Ruth, visit here.

Young people looking for support on any of the issues mentioned, can contact Childline on 0800 1111 or visit Childline.org.uk. Childline is there for all young people up until their 19th birthday.

Call the police on 999 if you suspect someone is in immediate danger.

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