A fund-raising appeal has been launched in memory of a North Staffordshire model who ‘took her own life’ in a hotel room.
Caitlin O’Reilly, who lived in Newcastle , had been on a night out with friends in Manchester when tragedy struck.
The 20-year-old’s body was discovered at the Premier Inn at Manchester Central.
Her death on August 18 last year was highlighted by pop star Robbie Williams in a special Christmas Day message.
Now her loved ones are raising money for charity to support other young people experiencing mental health crisis.
A group – including Caitlin’s dad Pete O’Reilly who is friends with Robbie – will be taking on the 41-mile Millennium Way Ultra Marathon in Staffordshire today (March 1).
They have already smashed their £150 target to raise more than £2,500 for Stoke-on-Trent-based charity Ruff and Ruby with donations continuing to flood in.
The Just Giving page reads: “Pete O’Reilly and a few of us will be taking part in the Millennium Way Ultra Marathon – 41 miles in 12 hours in memory of Pete’s 20-year-old daughter Caitlin who took her own life in August last year.
“It would be great if we could raise some money for a locally based charity who supported Caitlin.”
An inquest is yet to be held but Greater Manchester Police previously confirmed they are not treating Caitlin’s death as suspicious.
Her death received worldwide exposure on Christmas Day when a heart-wrenching message from her dad, Pete, was shared by Robbie. Pete and Robbie are old friends.
In a message to his 2.57 million Twitter followers, Robbie wrote: “Caitlin Nicole O’Reilly was a beautiful 20-year-old girl with her whole life ahead of her. Yet she tragically took her own life.
“My friend Pete wants to try to help use this tragic event to raise awareness of the amount of young people suffering with mental health issues. I am honoured to support him in memory of Caitlin.”
Here’s what dad Pete wrote about Caitlin:
“Caitlin was a very happy child, who grew up in an extremely loving family. She suffered on and off over recent years with her mental health.
“Caitlin is no longer with us but I want us all to remember her, and so many other beautiful souls across the world. There are so many who have sadly made a choice to end their lives, when action could have prevented it from happening. Together, we must do all we can to help those suffering and try to limit the devastation caused by suicide.
“Dealing with the aftermath of a loved-one who has made the choice to end their life is incredibly difficult. Suicide has a devastating impact on those who are left behind and are having to pick up the pieces. Sometimes there is no warning or explanation.
“My message to anybody feeling low, or who is suffering with their own mental health in any way, is to firstly recognise it. That is the most courageous step; identifying you need help. Be brave. Talking is essential.
“I urge you to tell your friends and loved-ones how you are feeling and seek as much help as you can. There are so many organisations available to help you right now. Do not suffer in silence.
“Social media has a massive impact on young people. Bullying through social media is prevalent and must be stopped.
“We are all responsible for monitoring those young people in our lives. There needs to be greater accountability in respect of those companies which have developed these social media platforms.
“Education is also key. Schools should use whatever forums are available to them to help the young people in their care. Children and young people need to know the dangers of social media and how to address issues they may have without resorting to harming themselves.
“It is staggering the amount of children and young people who feel so low they are contemplating taking their own lives. We all owe them our time, effort and experience to stop them making the same mistake as Caitlin.
“Caitlin was always there for others. She spent a huge amount of time trying to help those experiencing low periods or those expressing vulnerabilities. Caitlin’s legacy will live on if we continue the fight on her behalf to help as many of those who are suffering as we can.
“This is an extremely emotional time of year. We should all consider our own actions and help those less fortunate than us. Even if it is simply picking up the phone to check someone is doing OK.
“Let’s never give up for Caitlin’s memory and so many other beautiful souls around the world.
“Please tell your close friends and family how you feel. Do not bottle your feelings up. Nothing is ever as bad as you think. With help you can work through it. Please do not make the fateful mistake that Caitlin did. Remember your future is so full of hope, even if you do not think it at the time.”
To donate to the Just Giving page, click here .
If you are experiencing mental health problems, feeling suicidal, or are concerned about someone else, support is available. Speak with your GP, who can refer into appropriate local services, contact the Staffordshire Mental Health Helpline on 0808 800 2234 for out-of-hours support, or call the Samaritans on 116 123 for a listening ear 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.