In the past few years there have been many suicides as a result of bullying. The first one we ever heard about was Ryan Halligan. Just some of those who went on to join him were: Jared High, Megan Meier, Phoebe Prince, Alexis Pilkington, Jesse Logan, Carl Hoover Walker, Hope Witsel, Samantha Jane Kelly, Asher Brown, Bobby Tilman, Scott Walz, Cassidy Joy Andel, Seth Walsh, Justin Aaberg, Matt Epling, Tyler Long, Kameron Jacobsen, Tyler Clementi, Maria Herrera, Phillip Parker, Suade Cooley, Amanda Cummings, Jamie Rodemeyer,Tiffani Maxwell, Lennon Baldwin.
And just last week a 7 year-old in Detroit and a 12 year-old in East Harlem, NY took their lives as a result of bullying.
THIS MUST END!
Suicide is a major problem among young people in the U.S. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the third leading cause of death for young people ages 12 -18.
During the 2007–2008 school year, 32 percent of the nation’s students ages 12–18 reported being bullied. Of these students:
• 21 percent said they were bullied once or twice a month.
• 10 percent reported being bullied once or twice a week.
• 7 percent indicated they were bullied daily.
• Nearly 9 percent reported being physically injured as a result of bullying.
A study done by Dinkes et al in 2009 revealed that during that same school year, four percent of students ages 12–18 reported being cyberbullied. Another study by Wang, Nansek & Ianotti found that approximately 13 percent of students in grades 6–10 reported being cyberbullied. Suicide and Bullying
Both bullied victims and perpetrators of bullying are at a higher risk for suicide than their peers.
According to the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, LGBT youth attempt suicide at a rate 2–4 times higher than that of their heterosexual peers
These suicides are contagion behavior. Kids and teens who are victims of bullying and cyberbullying are so distraught they don’t know what to do. They hear about other kids who were bullied who took their lives and it seems like a good idea to stop their pain.
What these kids and teens don’t realize is that suicide is permanent! There is no going back.
They don’t understand that as horrible as bullying is, it isn’t permanent. Suicide is.
In addition to empowering victims on how to deal with bullies, it’s important to educate them about suicide prevention.
Kids can no longer use suicide as an alternative to end their pain. We want kids and teens to be able to look back at their childhood and smile, because no matter how bad it was, they decided on LIFE and its worth living!
Parents learn the signs of kids being bullied, learn the signs of depression and of someone who is suicidal. Talk to your kid often about how suicide solves nothing. All it does is give their bullies more power.
As the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Stomp out Bullying I have met so many parents whose children took their lives as a result of being bullied and it is literally the most heartbreaking thing in the world to see their pain that will never go away.
If your kids have been bullied it’s more important than ever to talk about suicide vs living and how suicide is never the answer. Communicate often. Help build their self-esteem. Tell your children that as bad as the bullying is that their future will be bright and wonderful. Get them help if you even suspect signs of depression or thoughts of suicide.
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