My granddaughter will grow up without her daddy after Facebook post tipped him over the edge – The Sun

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My granddaughter will grow up without her daddy after Facebook post tipped him over the edge – The Sun



WHEN Ann Gregg said “goodnight, I love you,” to her son Kenny, she didn’t know it would be for the last time. 
The next morning, she found the 27-year-old, from Dundonald, Northern Ireland, lifeless in his bed after taking an overdose of her prescription pills.
6 Dad-of-one Kenny Gregg, 27, pictured with his daughter Esme, 2, took his own life after being taunted on social mediaCredit: Jade Beecroft
6 Kenny leaves behind his devastated mum Ann and sister Carolyn – who want to see better regulations on social mediaCredit: Belfast News and Features
It was only after he had taken the decision to end his life on January 3 this year that his devastated family discovered he had been on the receiving end of cruel taunts on Facebook.
In particular, they believe one post – which was widely shared the day before his death – could’ve been what tipped him over the edge.
Kenny’s sister Carolyn told The Sun Online: “There were more than 40 horrible comments under this post, all saying what an awful person Kenny was.
“He actually emailed some of them to his solicitor that day. But we didn’t realise how hard it had hit him.
“He felt like his reputation was in tatters.”
If it wasn’t for those comments on Facebook, we truly believe that Kenny would still be alive todayCarolyn Greggbrother Kenny killed himself
Carolyn, 25, added: “If it wasn’t for those comments on Facebook, we truly believe that Kenny would still be alive today.
“Instead, his two-year-old daughter Esme has been left without a father.”
At just after 4am that morning, he’d sent text messages to both his sister and his girlfriend Lindsay Greer, telling them he loved them.
Kenny, a chef, then swallowed his mum’s prescription painkillers before he was found dead by Ann.
6 Carolyn with her big brother Kenny who struggled to cope with comments on Facebook and ended his lifeCredit: Jade Beecroft
6 Kenny Gregg, from Dundonald, Northern Ireland, pictured here as a little boyCredit: Jade Beecroft
Suicide is the biggest killer of people under the age of 35 in the UK and recent figures have shown that nearly two thirds of guys have experienced mental health problems in the last five years.
Major life events, like a death in the family, divorce and redundancy can leave people feeling vulnerable and trigger mental health issues.
That’s why The Sun launched the You’re Not Alone campaign – to remind those in the grips of mental illness that there is hope and to encourage people to watch out for the warning signs a loved one could be in trouble.
‘He was a joker’
Like many young men, Kenny had been an avid Facebook user, with over 1,000 friends, sharing jokes and videos.
“He was such a joker,” smiles Ann, 55. “His one liners always had us in stitches. He was like Peter Pan – never wanting to grow up.
“But deep down he had a soft heart and he would have been easily upset by things.
“It makes me think of Robin Williams. Kenny used jokes and humour because he loved to make people smile, even when he was hurting inside.”
Kenny loved to post his antics on social media – going viral a few years ago with a video of himself riding a pink lilo down a flooded street.
YOU’RE NOT ALONEEVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide.
It doesn’t discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.
It’s the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.
And men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.
Yet it’s rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.
That is why The Sun launched the You’re Not Alone campaign.
The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.
Let’s all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others… You’re Not Alone.
If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:

Mum-of-three Carolyn said: “It was hilarious.
“The police arrived and he told them there was nowhere in the Highway Code that forbade him from travelling along the road on a lilo. They had to agree with him.
“He got so many likes and comments, people loved it.
“There was another video he posted of himself running down the street in a mankini, with a blow-up banana – that got a lot of Facebook likes too.”
Social media backlash
But when social media turned sour, Kenny struggled to cope with the negative feedback.
He was in a long-term relationship with Esme’s mum Lindsay, but they split in the year before his death.
Ann explained the couple had gone through a “rough patch” and he decided to move back in with her and his 55-year-old dad Kenneth.
In July 2018 he was prescribed anti-depressants because he was struggling with low moods.
Within six months he had made the decision to end his life.
Ann said: “He has the attic bedroom, so I was walking up the stairs shouting his name, then I realised he was still in bed.
The day after he died, someone even wrote on Facebook that he’d got what he deservedCarolyn Gregg
“I was shaking him, trying to wake him, and saw his lips were blue. I was absolutely frantic, I did CPR for about five minutes and then ran out onto our street, screaming for help.”
Kenny was pronounced dead at the scene, and a post mortem examination found he’d taken a cocktail of her medication.
His last words to his mum the previous evening had been “I love you”.
Carolyn added: “We had no idea about the Facebook comments until after he’d gone.
“The day after he died, someone even wrote on Facebook that he’d got what he deserved. That broke our hearts.”Kenny’s legacy
The family have now launched a petition in Kenny’s memory, calling for stricter moderation of sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Carolyn said: “There is a ‘report’ button, but often nothing happens when you use it.
“Sites need to take more responsibility of their content and a harder line on people who postmaliciously.
“There needs to be a lot more moderators too. It’s not like the social media giants can’t afford it.”
Kenny’s death follows a declaration by the UK’s first social media minister, Jackie Doyle-Price, that platforms need to clamp down on trolling and harmful content, comparing the web to the “wild west”.
6 Kenny with his sister Carolyn who is campaigning for tougher regulations on social mediaCredit: Jade Beecroft
6 Kenny with his nephew Carter Lee, eight, who he adoredCredit: Jade Beecroft
A government consultation is currently under way on how to make users safer and the Online Harms White Paper proposes introducing a duty of care for social media providers, overseen by an independent regulator.
Carolyn said: “I would like our government to make a law against this. Trolls need to be caught and held to account.
“People shouldn’t be able to get away with making others feel so worthless that they think taking their life is the only way to escape.
The key signs your loved one is at risk of suicideThere are several warning signs that a person is at risk of suicide. But it’s vital to know that they won’t always be obvious.
While some people are quite visibly in pain and become withdrawn and depressed, others may continue their life as normal pretending everything is fine.
Look out for subtle personality changes in friends and family, especially if you know they have been going through a tough time, Lorna told The Sun Online.
These are the key signs to watch out for:

A change in routine, such as sleeping or eating less than normal
Struggling to sleep, lacking energy or appearing particularly tired
Drinking, smoking or using drugs more than usual
Finding it hard to cope with everyday things
Not wanting to do things they usually enjoy
Becoming withdrawn from friends and family – not wanting to talk or be with people
Appearing more tearful
Appearing restless, agitated, nervous, irritable
Putting themselves down in a serious or jokey way, for example ‘Oh, no one loves me’, or ‘I’m a waste of space’
Losing interest in their appearance, not liking or taking care of themselves or feeling they don’t matter

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“Kenny was a wonderful father, and a devoted uncle to my three kids.
I had my eldest, Carter Lee, now eight, when I was just 17, and my brother was my rock. He was like a father figure to my boy.
“Now his daughter will have to grow up without her daddy.”
Why it’s up to all of us to reduce deaths by suicide

If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this article, please call the Samaritans (free) on 116 123.

 

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