Bullying and suicide: it’s real


Bullying today is a problem throughout the world. But right here in our own country, the numbers from bullying related suicides are increasing. Over 14% of high school students have considered suicide and 7% have actually attempted it. An astonishing 30% of students are either bullies or victims of bullying.
Bullying is intentional, emotional, or physical harm. The link between bullying and suicide is very strong. Suicide is the third leading cause of death in teens according to the Center For Disease Control. It results in about 4,400 deaths per year. Children that are bullied are approximately 9% more likely to consider suicide according to Yale University Studies.
Unfortunately, too many parents still look at bullying as “just part of being a kid.” A (Toughen you up attitude). However, it’s way more serious than that. This is a severe problem, which leads our youth to many negative life long issues.
Parents often don’t take the link between bullying and suicide seriously enough. Bullying related suicides could be linked to many different types of bullying: physical, emotional, cyber or sexting bullying, or even suggestive bullying, which is circulating embarrassing photos or spreading negative and untrue messages around about a person. Bullying may be tormenting, hitting, kicking, verbal abuse, shoving, extorting money (telling a child to hand over their lunch money or they will be beat up).
Warning signs of suicide can be: a child acting depressed or sad, staying home from outside social events or activities with friends, trouble eating or sleeping, or loss of interest in their favorite activity or sport, constantly talking about death, giving away some of their favorite possessions, comments such as, “the world would be better off without me.”
If you notice such behavior from your child or any other young adult, get them to be seen by a counselor, doctor, or nearest emergency room right away.
The problem is many times the child is too embarrassed to admit to being bullied and sometimes when they do mention any of these comments, they are not taken seriously enough.
In the meantime, if you are with someone who may possibly be suicidal, encourage them to talk about it, be loving, understanding, and supportive. Make sure to lock away any medicines and weapons. Then, let the professionals decide whether or not the child is in such danger.
96% of bullying occurs in schools, if a teacher or principal does not give you or your child any satisfaction with the bullying problem then notify the police and or get an attorney involved.
Of course, all friends and siblings tease one another from time to time in a playful and normal way. But when it starts to become unkind or hurtful, this is where it crosses the line to bullying. It is at this point that it must be STOPPED!
When speaking to your children about the dangers of bullying, make sure you also talk to them about the other side of bullying, making sure to educate your child that THEY should never be the one to TEASE or BULLY.
Educating our children about the dangers of bullying begins at home. Bullying leads to senseless deaths from distraught children or young adults.
If you suspect bullying of any kind immediately contact the appropriate people or authorities and don’t be afraid to get involved.
YOU may be the one person who saves a young life!
For emergency help, the number is 1-800-273-TALK

Debbie Shor is the owner and operator of Deborah Shor’s School of Etiquette. For more information, call (904) 864-7166 or visit www.deborahshorsschoolofetiquette.com