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Suicide note of 20-year-old bullying victim sends shockwaves round Twitter

The suicide note of a 20-year-old man has caused a stir on social media after his family published it in their local newspaper.

The notice placed by Tim Ribberink's family in De Twentsche Courant Tubantia.Tim Ribberink revealed in his farewell message that he had been the victim of sustained bullying and harassment.

“Dear mum and dad,” he wrote, “all my life I have been ridiculed, abused, bullied and excluded. You guys are fantastic. I hope you’re not angry. Until we meet again, Tim.”

A bereavement notice published in De Twentsche Courant Tubantia included the text of the message and Tim’s photograph.

Within hours it had been shared by thousands of people on Twitter and other social networks, many of whom called for action to be taken against bullying.

A photograph taken from the newpaper had been shared more than 5000 times by lunchtime, while the hashtag #timribberink became one of the top trending topics in the Netherlands.

“Hopefully this is the wake-up call and more attention will be paid to bullying,” read one message.

Others expressed sympathy for the family and support for their decision to publicise the circumstances of Tim’s death.

Ankie Bergsma, of the counselling service Mediant, told the newspaper that research had shown bullying to be a common cause of suicide.

“Everybody has had some experience of bullying,” she said. “The victims as well as the bullies often struggle with the consequences for years afterwards.”