October is National Bullying Prevention Month. Often, this month is directed towards schools, and with good reason, but bullying can also happen in the workplace and other areas of our lives. How are we making sure we prevent bullying from happening?
It’s important to start the conversation. This month is a great opportunity to start that conversation with your youth and check in with your co-workers at your workplace. Fostering a safe environment where everyone is comfortable is not only a good thing to do, but also important. Bullying affects performance, mental health, and sense of safety.
With the increase in social media use, there has also been an increase in cyberbullying. Cyberbullying can be done anonymously with a fake profile and can affect anyone. Having a conversation about online safety and guidelines for online use can be beneficial in helping to prevent cyberbullying. It is okay to speak up about cyberbullying. Sometimes bullies use threats of posting a picture or shaming someone, but it is still important to address those instances safely and effectively. You are worth the conversation - it’s okay to say something.
Today, there are organizations that provide free curriculum to include in classrooms and in having a conversation with your youth about bullying and how to prevent it. In addition to these free resources that will be linked below, there are also opportunities to bring awareness and show support through Unity Day and Stomp Out Bullying by wearing orange and blue shirts on certain days.
Bullying is not a joke. It can lead to increased risk for depression, anxiety, self-harm behaviors, suicidal ideation, and school violence. If someone you know is struggling with any of these, please let them know they are not alone. There is help available. If you or your youth are experiencing a crisis, please take a look at the resources below. If you are having suicidal thoughts, go to the nearest emergency room, dial 911, of chat/call 988. There is hope and help available.
Check out these resources below: