The father of a 14-year-old girl who took her own life after viewing graphic content online has described her as full of “love and hope and happiness”.
Molly Russell, from Harrow in north-west London, died in November 2017 after seeing material about suicide and self harm.
Her father Ian told North London Coroner’s Court Molly experienced deep isolation but was “an easy-going girl”.
“She will always be loved deeply and whole-heartedly,” he said.
“Her death is tragic but it is by remembering her life that she will remain with us forever.”
Continuing his description of his daughter Mr Russell said: “She was always the one who could be relied on to snuggle up to you on the sofa.
“She was self-supporting and capable.”
Mr Russell’s father added that Molly’s death was a mark to people that it was “OK not to be OK”.
He said: “It is important to talk to someone trained or qualified whenever it is needed.
“No-one is immune from such tragedy, it is closer to all of us than we would care to think, and breaking the stigma that surrounds mental health, self-harm and suicide is literally vital.”
Reciting a poem Molly’s school friends wrote for her funeral, Mr Russell said: “Our best friend, Molly. Thank you.
“Thank you for inspiring us to face our fears, for encouraging us to grow.
“Thank you for showing us that we can get through the rain… and for believing in ourselves.”
Mr Russell added: “Just as Molly would have wanted, it is important to seek to learn whatever we can and then to take all necessary action to prevent such a young life being wasted again.”
Since her death, Molly’s family has been campaigning for social media to be subject to tighter rules over what can be seen on platforms like Pinterest and Instagram.
The inquest will examine the algorithms used by social media to channel content to users.
If you’ve been affected by self-harm or emotional distress, help and support is available via the BBC Action Line.