A "BEAUTIFUL" model took her own life in a Premier Inn hotel after her mental health declined when she was sexually groomed aged just 13, her heartbroken family have said.
Caitlin O’Reilly, 20, had been on a night out with friends in Manchester when she killed herself in her hotel room in the city centre.Caitlin O’Reilly took her own life after a night out in Manchester The 20-year-old model was found dead inside a Premier Inn hotel in Manchester city centre Credit: BPM Media
She was the daughter of one of Robbie Williams’ close friends and the Take That star paid tribute to her, describing her as a “beautiful 20-year-old girl with her whole life ahead of her”.
Her parents, from Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffs, have now shared her story in a bid to help other people battling mental health issues following her death in August 2019.
Caitlin’s mum Kay Speedman said “everybody’s life changed” when they found out she was groomed by an older man when she was just a young teenager.
She said her daughter thought she was not worthy and would self-harm while trying to fit in with people at her school.
Kay, a former police officer, told StokeOnTrentLive: “When we found out what had happened to her when she was 13, that was a big change in everybody's life.
"She always thought that she was not worthy. The first time she came home from high school, I thought somebody had bullied her.
“She had got ‘not good enough’ written with a black pen down her forearm.
“I said ‘who’s done that to you’. She looked at me and said ‘it was me’.
“The problem we had is that at an early age, when she wasn’t ready, she was dealing with adult emotions and didn't know how to.
She always thought that she was not worthy. The first time she came home from high school, I thought somebody had bullied her."
Mum Kay Speedman
"I knew her inside out. I’d be on pins thinking when I get home I am going to find blood in the bath when she self-harmed or she is going to be unconscious on the bed."
Kay added: "She was always on the outskirts of the popular group. She never quite fit in or felt like she belonged, that stayed with her throughout into adulthood.
"Even when she was suffering with her own mental health she would stay up on social media for hours at night helping other kids.
"At night she’d get a message ‘I’ve self-harmed, what do I do’. She would sit up until the early hours talking to them.
“She was telling them they must do something about it and seek help. She would spend hours helping other people but she could never help herself."
Paying tribute to her daughter, Kay added: "She was full of fun and was crackers but also very sensitive.
“The message I want to give young girls is you’re beautiful, you’re good enough and you’re worthy. You don’t need a filter.”
The family has now created a new T-shirt collection in memory of care worker Caitlin, which has been launched by Stoke-on-Trent youth charity, Ruff and Ruby.
The “Caitlin collection features six tops, each with a different slogan such as “Always Worthy” and “Always Good Enough”.
All proceeds from sales will go to the Caitlin O’Reilly Fund which offers young people mental health support packages and early intervention.
Kay added: “I am so proud of what’s been accomplished. If all this effort saves one young person's life, Caitlin’s hasn’t been wasted.
“We need to show young girls that it isn’t all about Instagram and filters, you have got to love yourself.”
It was announced earlier this year than an inquest was due to be opened into her death, which cops are not treating as suspicious.
YOU'RE NOT ALONE
EVERY 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:CALM, www.thecalmzone.net, 0800 585 858 Heads Together, www.headstogether.org.uk Mind, www.mind.org.uk, 0300 123 3393 Papyrus, www.papyrus-uk.org, 0800 068 41 41 Samaritans, www.samaritans.org, 116 123
Contact the Samaritans
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article contact The Samaritans on 116 123. They are available for free at anytime.
Or email https://www.samaritans.org/