ST. LOUIS – A lot of adults might not have known what to do in such a serious situation, but young CJ Thomas realized something was going on and stepped up in a big way to try and save a life.
12-year-old CJ Thomas of Wentzville Middle School was online when another pre-teen he became aquatinted with through an online coding website said he was thinking of taking his own life.
“He made a post and started saying things about harming himself. I didn’t know if he was joking around, so I thought that I should at least try to help him or see what’s going on,” said CJ.
That’s when CJ sprung into action, he was able to find out where the teen who lives in Georgia went to school and he eventually was able to track down the school counselor and send an email with the little information he had.
“I asked him where he lived and how old he was” said CJ. “I had to look online to find the school he went to in that region. I just wanted to make sure that he wouldn’t be hurt and his family would not have to feel guilt or pain.”
CJ’s mom says the 7th grader has always been a kind kid with a big heart.
“He acted like it was just a normal day in a life of CJ— helping somebody out doesn’t matter if you know them or not, and just went about his day,” his mom said.
At school CJ is being praised for practicing compassion and thinking fast.
“We are so very proud of CJ,” said Wentzville School District superintendent Dr. Curtis Cain. “What he did and how he did it is exactly what we would hope. He did the right thing, he did the appropriate thing. We may never know if he saved a life but he leaned into his instinct which was to take action, that is the biggest takeaway.”
Dr. Curtis Cain went on to say the most important thing to remember is that talking about suicide is an ongoing conversation.
If you’re struggling and need someone to talk to, you can call the national suicide prevention lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.