Sad Grl by Sad girl Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kprj/with/3180217508/
Bullying and youth suicide has become a popular topic today. It seems as though every week there are new stories of the tragic deaths of children and teens who were tormented by their peers.
Now, Facebook has even taken steps to try to help those who may be having suicidal thoughts. The company introduced changes that allow any user to highlight content from a friend or acquaintance they believe may be the result of suicidal thoughts or behavior. Once the user highlights the content, the person who posted it will receive a direct link to a private, online chat session with a counselor.
Facebook will then email the user in distress a direct link for a private online chat with a crisis representative from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline as well as the group's phone number.
According to Reuters, the new tool gives people who may not be comfortable picking up the phone a direct avenue to seek help.
"This was a natural progression from something we've been working on for a long time," Wolens said.
It's important that there is a finally a growing awareness of this rising epidemic in bullying. Education is the key. Everyone needs to be aware of the signs of bullying and what to do when you spot a situation. That is why I wrote a short handbook that I am giving away- free of charge. You can get your free copy here.
Do you know that there are different types of bullying?
This includes hitting or kicking the victim. Also taking or damaging the victim's property. This is the most obvious type of bullying because it is so easy to spot. Physical bullies are usually known to the entire population in the school.
Verbal bullies use words to hurt or humiliate another person. This would include name-calling, insulting, making racist comments and teasing. This type of bullying is the easiest to inflict on other children. It can be done quickly and on the sly. Its effects can be more devastating than physical bullying, because these scars stay with you forever.
Relational or relationship bullies try to convince their peers to exclude or reject a certain person or people and cut the victims off from their social connections. This type of bullying is linked to verbal bullying and usually occurs when children (most often girls) spread nasty rumors about others or exclude an ex-friend from the peer group. The most devastating effect with this type of bullying is the rejection by the peer group at a time when children most need their social connections.
For more on types of bullying click here.
This could be a great opportunity to open the dialog with any children in your life:
Can you identify the type of bullying in the scenarios below?
This is a situation where Ally and Bella are playing and then Jenny asks them if she can play too. Ally and Bella roll their eyes and tell Jenny that she can not play with them
This is hurtful and Jenny will feel that she is being left out or ostracized.
This is relational bullying.