Parents of Bromley teenager Sasha Steadman, who died last month, pay tribute, say she visited self-harm websites

News Shopper: Sasha Steadman died last month of a suspected drug overdose. Sasha Steadman died last month of a suspected drug overdose.

THE parents of Bromley teenager Sasha Steadman have paid tribute to their daughter, and said she suffered from bi-polar disorder and depression, visiting self-harm websites during her illness.

Sasha died on January 28 at her home in Upper Park Road, Bromley, of a suspected drug overdose.

The 16-year-old, who was "kind and caring" and had a talent for the arts, was studying art and design at the Orpington campus of Bromley College.

Mother Claire Shaw and step-father Dee Shaw say more needs to be done to curb access to websites that mislead vulnerable children with their "gospel of darkness".

Mr and Mrs Shaw said: "We lost our beloved daughter, Sasha, under tragic circumstances.

"She has left a huge hole in our lives and we are going to miss her terribly.

"She would forever be playing the keyboard at home. Sasha had a very creative personality and would often be daydreaming, singing and dancing.

"She was such a joy to be around. She was a kind and caring girl who would always listen to others and would try to help them in their troubles.

"Unfortunately Sasha had her own troubles last year when she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and subsequently depression. 

"Though many different medical professions were involved trying to help her out of her dark place, Sasha found it difficult to cope with life around her."

It was after Sasha was diagnosed that her parents discovered - too late - that she had started visiting self-harm websites via social networking sites such as Tumblr.

They added: "We have learnt a very hard lesson. We don't want other families to suffer similarly and so we also appeal to parents to get closer to your children and be involved in their activities.

"But the responsibility does not rest only with parents in this fast moving digital age. It is also is the responsibility of websites which promote dark subjects.

"We thank the press for raising a very pertinent question about whether social networking sites such as Tumblr should protect young users - such as Sasha - by removing content that promotes self-harm."

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