Community Issues

12 Year Old Speaks About Suicide Attempt and Impact of School Bullying

Gavin Gray is only 12 years old but he's already tried to kill himself more than once. He and his mother are speaking out to help other kids like him and spark changes in his school.


Gavin Gray is only 12 years old, but he's already tried to kill himself more than once. He and his mother reached out to me so they could speak out to help other kids like Gavin and spark changes in his school.

They live in the small town of Templeton, PA which is about 90 minutes outside of Pittsburgh. Gavin was just released from psychiatric care at a nearby hospital. He's being treated following a suicide attempt that he and his mother say is the result of school bullying.

Gavin is currently in the 6th grade at nearby Dayton Elementary, which is part of the Armstrong School District. Jenna Duncan tells me she's reached out to the school but so far nothing has been done. I'm connecting them with an attorney who can help with getting everyone on the same page in the interest of the kids.

There is some good news here. First, that Gavin is getting the help he needs from a mental health professional. Second, this young man has a support system that has really kicked in. He tells me friends and classmates are voicing their support and pledging to help stop bullying. He even read some of their letters and notes with me:

So, what can you do if you find yourself in a similar situation? There are some fantastic resources out there. One of the best I've seen so far is StopBullying.gov . It's a site run by the U.S. government to help connect you to the right groups and agencies, everything from national, state, and local resources.

Another key place to get help is the National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255 . We've linked you to their page as well. If someone is in immediate danger, pick up the phone and call 9-1-1.

Even if you don't have a problem and you want to be part of the solution, check out those links above. They will direct you to places you can participate and help make a difference.

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