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Lucy Alexander reveals how son's death from bullying inspired her kindness campaign and how Prince William has helped

#BeKind

Lucy Alexander is on a mission to make sure no other child feels as much pain as her late son Felix did, who was driven to take his own life after he was bullied at school and on social media.

Lucy, who is largely credited with starting the #BeKind hashtag, has used her experience to champion more kindness in the world, particularly among schoolchildren. She set up Felix's Campaign of Kindness in her son's name and honour, and also acts as an ambassador for the Duchess of Cambridge's patronage and young people's charity, Place2Be.

See the full kind list here

Writing exclusively for HELLO!'s Kindness Digital Issue, mother-of-three Lucy praised both Prince William and Kate for their work around mental health and for helping reduce the stigma around the once-taboo subject. She also shared her journey and inspiration behind her kindness campaign, her hopes for her son Felix to be remembered not as a victim but as a catalyst for change, and calls for more practical action to be taken in mental health.

Read Lucy's open letter below.

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Felix sadly took his own life as a result of being bullied

"October 2021 marks five years since I wrote to my local paper to appeal for more kindness in our world. I was compelled to write this letter after losing my son Felix six months earlier to suicide after years of unkindness from his peers both in real life and online. This letter seemed to touch a nerve with people and from this, Felix's Campaign of Kindness was born.

"I was asked to appear on television by This Morning and things snowballed from there. I wanted to try to stop other young people from feeling the way that Felix did. I truly do believe that children aren't inherently bad, but they do need help to connect what they say and do, particularly online, with the consequences.

READ: Lady Gaga's mother Cynthia Germanotta reveals how singer's experience with bullying inspired her kindness foundation

"I came across Place2Be accidentally when I was looking for a young people's charity to direct donations to at Felix's funeral. They really struck a chord with me as they concentrate on early intervention when supporting young people in schools. They are embedded into the fabric of a school and offer support to young people, their teachers and their families which provides a whole school approach to mental health and wellbeing.

READ: 10 celebrities reveal how they're raising their children to be kind

"The charity has been kind enough to ask me to be an ambassador for them, and this role frames the work I do in schools and colleges, raising awareness about bullying behaviour and talking to young people about what they can do to ensure that other children do not suffer in the same way that Felix did.

"Through my work with Place2Be, I was asked to be a small part of the Duke of Cambridge's Cyberbullying taskforce. I was so impressed by both his and the Duchess's passion and commitment to supporting young people and their mental health.

"I was invited to both Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace where I met Prince William. I have been so impressed by his passion and genuine personal interest in making a difference for young people. When he and Prince Harry spoke about the huge impact that the loss of their mother had on their mental health, it was a really important step forward in breaking down the stigma surrounding mental ill health. Their voices are so very valuable, and I really feel that he feels as strongly as I do that, we need to back this up with action.

"I have also worked with the Diana Award charity's campaign, Anti-bullying Pro, which raises awareness about bullying and provides vital training for young people to become Anti-Bullying ambassadors in school. I believe as Lady Diana did in the power of young people to change the world. If you give them the tools and the control to change things for the better then they will.

"The pandemic has been really tough for everyone and kindness has been more important than ever. As a nurse, I have really appreciated the kindness shown to my profession by patients and the public as a whole, which has helped us cope during these anxious times.

"We will however feel the after-effects of this pandemic for many years to come as it has had a profound effect on the mental health of our nation as a whole. I welcome the fact that the past five years have seen conversations surrounding mental health normalised and reduced stigma, but we now need to back these conversations with actions. We need to invest in mental health services and education so that we can offer the support that is needed to prevent long-term harm.

"We have come a long way but there is still much work to be done and my dearest hope is that my son is not remembered as a victim but as catalyst for change to a kinder world."

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