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