Brianna Ghey's mother calls for mindfulness in schools in tribute campaign to her daughter

The mother of a teenage girl who was stabbed to death in a park in Warrington, told ITV News North of England Reporter Kelly Foran about a campaign she's set up in her memory. Words by Eleanor Gregory

Brianna Ghey was just 16 when she was stabbed to death in Warrington in February this year. 

On the eve of what would have been Brianna’s 17th birthday, her mum, Esther Ghey, spoke to ITV News and said she feels like there's a "hole" in her heart but is bittersweet as people are celebrating her daughter's life as "Brianna would've wanted that.” 

Brianna's death sparked nationwide attention as people across the country mourned the loss of the schoolgirl, who was transgender, with candlelit vigils held across the country from Liverpool to Bristol. 

But away from the vigils, Esther became the victim of online trolling abuse. She said: “I woke up and got an email saying someone had set up a fundraiser and it was a troll. I was absolutely flooded with horrific images...I wanted to just to just hide away after that.” 

Brianna Ghey was found dead in Warrington in February. Credit: Family Handout

The 16-year-old’s mum then realised that these trolls “aren’t very happy inside” and are the ones that are “massively struggling.” 

It encouraged her to kickstart a campaign in Brianna’s memory, with support of the Warrington Guardian, to deliver mindfulness in primary and secondary schools in England. 

Esther told ITV News that she would eventually like to have the school curriculum changed so that children are taught mindfulness techniques in class to help support their mental health alongside their academic studies. 

Esther says by having mindfulness incorporated into school timetables, she hopes it would encourage young people to be more empathetic to not only prevent events like what happened to Brianna but to also help young people struggling with their mental health - as Brianna did.  

Esther Ghey was the victim of trolling after her daughter's death. Credit: ITV News

Since the campaign launch in September, Esther has been delivering mindfulness assemblies in schools in the North West of England and says these mental health techniques are almost “more important than academic skills”.   

“You could come out with all straight A's but if you can't cope in life, if you are really struggling with anxiety and you don't know how to manage that, then you're…ultimately not going to be able to contribute to society in the way that you would like.” 

The Peace In Mind campaign is currently raising money to send teachers on training courses so that Esther's ambition of achieving mindfulness in the curriculum can begin.

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