Earlier this month, a Bensalem School District student was honored by Council, Township Police and array of officials for helping to save the life of a peer in the process attempting to die by suicide.
Caitlin Groves, a Cecelia Snyder Middle School eight grader attended a “Safe2Say” school based program last year and the message stuck with her.
The initiative recently launched in Bucks, provides students with ways and means on how to help peers experiencing something emotionally intense, or this case, a fellow student planning to die by suicide.
Essentially it provides students with concrete ways to help their peers.
Groves, saw a message from a fellow student she really didn’t know on social media and went into proactive mental health first responder action by calling 911 and reporting what she was seeing on social media.
Township Public Safety Director Fredric Harran said, she saw something and then she said something.
Harran said thanks to Groves quick thinking and a little detective work by the police department, first responders arrived just in time and the student was taken to a behavioral treatment setting for help.
This really was a nerve racking for me, Groves said, but we recently had people come into school teaching us about suicide prevention.
“I had to think quick or something bad could have happened,” she said.
Groves was also honored by the Bensalem School District on January 22 and in between that she celebrated her 14th birthday too!
“For your conscientious actions, kindness and compassion that led to helping your classmate, you are hereby recognized by the Bensalem Township Police Department,” read the commendation, signed by Harran.
The issue of death by suicide for children 10 to 14 has been a concern nationally and local
The CDC said the rates for death by suicide of children in that age group have tripled between 2007 and 2017.
In 2017 alone, death by suicide was the second leading cause of death for children aged 10 to 14 according to CDC data. The trend researchers say has continued in the state and locally.
Efforts like “Safe2Say” and those of the Bucks County Suicide Prevention Task Force locally are trying to reduce stigma and inform the public on what to do when thinking someone is in “trouble.”
“You are a model for Bensalem” Harran said closing out his comments, with Groves family in attendance for the presentation.
If you know someone who his thinking about suicide, Bucks County has a plethora of great supportive resources available 24 hours a day.
Please use one of the numbers below. Hold on You Matter,
Crisis Hotline 1-800-273 -TALK
Call 1-800-499-7455 to speak to a trained crisis worker – Anytime – Day or Night
Bucks NAMI Hotline 1-866-399-NAMI (6264) – Hours Daily, 9AM – 9PM with 24/7 message
You can also Text “NAMI” to 741741 (24/7 Availability) for help.