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Stand up to bullying! National Bullying Awareness Week, Nov. 12-17

Through media reports, viral videos and, most recently, the death by suicide of teen bullying victim Amanda Todd, the deadly impact of bullying is becoming clear.

CAMH recently published data from the Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey (OSDUHS) on the connection between suicidal thoughts and bullying victimization. The anonymous survey of students from grades 7 through 12 across the province found that 21 per cent of girls who were bullied by peers at school also contemplated suicide at some point that year.  This percentage represents a staggering 31,800 girls, and is double the percentage seen among girls who were not bullied at school.

The survey found that 29 per cent of all students report being bullied at school. This represents about 288,000 students in Ontario.

 

“Bullying is no longer considered a normal part of growing up but as a dangerous testing ground for some of the most pernicious forms of relational abuse, often with few consequences for the offender but many for the victim,” said the Director of CAMH’s Centre for Prevention Science Dr. David Wolfe in a recent op-ed published in the Globe and Mail. “We can reverse the spread of bullying by first acknowledging that it’s not normal or typical behaviour, that it’s not harmless and that we can do something about it,” continued David.

 

“Prevention is everyone’s responsibility but least of all the victim’s. Our school systems are getting up to speed in this regard. CAMH’s Fourth R project is a school-based program developed to help adolescents form healthy relationships and make better choices while they navigate critical developmental minefields such as substance use, sexual relationships, bullying and violence.”

 

Bullying Awareness Week began when Canadian father and educator Bill Belsey launched www.bullying.org in 2000. Since then, Bullying Awareness Week is recognized in other countries around the world and is an opportunity for people at the grassroots level to get involved and work together on preventing bullying in their communities through education and awareness.

 

Resources for Parents

 

 

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