"It's cool to speak up" is the advice from the family of a South Australian teenager who took her own life, presumably because she was cyber bullied, her family says.
Adelaide teen Libby Bell, 13, took her own life last Monday, with her family believing she was bullied both online and physically.
An award-winning state junior lifesaver, Libby was a Year 8 student at Seaford Secondary School in Adelaide.
Her heartbroken family have led tributes to the student while also urging parents to talk to their children about any issues they might have.
“She had a million-dollar smile, her face lit up the room, she just had a beautiful smile — that was our Libster,” Libby’s uncle Clint Gow-Smith, 39, told Adelaide Now.
“We understand schoolyard behaviour and what starts off as pointless teasing and ridicule which can soon escalate. So please, as a parent, hold your babies tight and for the teenagers, we plead for you kids to talk and walk tall.”
Mr Gow-Smith said it's “really important” that kids realise it's “cool to speak up” and to reach out to someone.
The family claim Libby was a victim of a bullying incident at a fast food restaurant last year where she was filmed while being picked on, one of many incidents.
Libby was junior life saver of the year for Moana Surf Life Saving Club, where she had been a member since 2013.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family deal with the costs of the funeral, with almost $20,000 raised so far.
Friends of the teen also paid their tribute to her online and many people who didn't know Libby personally also donated to the fund.
The SA Education Department said it had “very strong” anti-bullying policies.
“It is really important that we are clear that bullying does have consequences,” child development executive director Ann-Marie Hayes said.
Staff at Moana Surf Life Saving said they're grieving the "sudden and devastating loss of Libby".
If you are concerned about the mental health of yourself or a loved one, seek support and information by calling Lifeline 13 11 14, the Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467, or Beyond Blue 1300 22 46 36.
Family pay tribute to surf lifesaver, 13, who took her own life after being 'cyber-bullied' September 05 2017
Cyberbullying Suicides 3 3 AGOSTO 2017