Autistic pupil, 16, who took her own life when she became 'hyper-fixated' on first detention deemed 'low risk' by nurse

21 May 2023, 08:49

Caitlyn was "hyper-fixated" on her first detention
Caitlyn was "hyper-fixated" on her first detention. Picture: Social media/Wycombe Abbey

By Will Taylor

A 16-year-old girl who took her own life at a top girls' school told a GP she was suicidal but was deemed "low risk".

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Caitlyn Scott-Lee, who was autistic, died in Wycombe Abbey's theatre having become "hyper-fixated" about her first detention, handed out after vodka and a tattoo kit was found in her locker just before Easter.

She ran away from school as a cry for help.

Her last diary entry said: "F*** the school. Running away was the best cry out for help I could give and you responded with we'd normally punish you but we know you're already getting punished.

"Safeguarding my arse."

Her father, Jonathan Scott-Lee, said she saw a GP in High Wycombe in March to discuss suicidal feelings and was referred to child and mental health services.

A mental health nurse deemed her to be "low risk" after speaking to her on the phone and was told to have another appointment in May, but she took her own life on April 21.

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Caitlyn took her own life in April
Caitlyn took her own life in April. Picture: Social media

Her funeral in Buckinghamshire is today.

Mr Scott-Lee is campaigning for autistic children to be seen by a specialist within 24 hours if they reveal they have suicidal or depressive feelings. Research shows autistic people are nine times more likely to take their own life.

Read more: Pupil, 16, took own life after 'hyper-fixation' on first school detention as father calls for help for autistic students

He said: "I want Caitlyn's story to lead to change, so that neurodiverse children get the help needed in schools and medical settings [and] also thrive in society.

"If she had been prioritised appropriately and obtained medical intervention, she might still be with us."

The HSBC executive told The Times he was praying for children taking their exams this year and hoped they would not be defined just by their grades.

"It never occurred to me that I should have asked whether my daughter would — very literally — leave school alive."

The 16-year-old died at Wycombe Abbey
The 16-year-old died at Wycombe Abbey. Picture: Wycombe Abbey

In a statement issue previously, the £44,000-a-year school Wycombe Abbey said: "Everyone at Wycombe Abbey has been left deeply shocked by Caitlyn's death.

"She was a highly valued member of our school community, a bright and talented young woman with enormous promise. She will be hugely missed by all of us."

Those feeling distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email in the UK. In the US, call the Samaritans branch in your area or 1 (800) 273-TALK

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