TORONTO, Nov. 14, 2013 /CNW/ - This Bullying Awareness Week (November 17-23, 2013) Kids Help Phone is making it easy for everyone in Canada to get informed and involved in this important national campaign.
Empowering young people to stand up to bullying and cyberbullying is not always easy. But we can all make a difference in the lives of young people everywhere when we take action. We can all make a commitment to learn more about bullying, raise awareness about supports that are available to young people, and unite to take a stand against bullying.
Here are three easy things you can do for Bullying Awareness Week:
1. Help prevent cyberbullying by sharing this message on your social media networks, and ask your friends, family, and colleagues to do the same:
This #BullyingAwarenessWeek, take a stand against cyberbullying. Pause before your post. Report hurtful comments. Promote respect. #BAW13
2. Visit www.kidshelpphone.ca/baw to access Kids Help Phone's new bullying support and awareness resource page for kids, teens, parents, educators, and other caring adults, and to learn about events and initiatives happening throughout Canada that you can participate in this Bullying Awareness Week and beyond. Visitors will have access to tipsheets, social media tools, videos, and more.
3. Tell a young person about Kids Help Phone, where professional counsellors are available 24/7 to offer help and hope: 1-800-668-6868, kidshelpphone.ca, and encourage them to download our free app, Always There. If you are a young person, why not program our number into your phone or download the app yourself?
Did you know…?
- 10% of contacts to Kids Help Phone from young people relate to bullying.
- The average Canadian elementary classroom contains at least one or two students who have experienced bullying.
- 65% of youth who answered a Kids Help Phone 2011 survey reported that they had been cyberbullied1.
- 1 in 5 middle school students report avoiding restrooms at school due to fear of being bullied.
- 87% of students in grades 8 to 10 reported witnessing school bullying in the past year.
- Bystanders can stop bullying: Studies have shown that bullying stops within 10 seconds more than half of the time when a bystander intervenes2.
- The best way to stop bullying is to prevent it. Working to promote environments based on respect and empathy, and reaching out and being inclusive of others, are great ways to stop bullying from happening in the first place.
What Kids Help Phone's professional counsellors are saying
"Awareness campaigns like this do have an impact," says Kids Help Phone counsellor Cheryl-Lynn. "They can influence conversations at home and in the classroom, motivate people to speak up or reach out for help, and inspire others to learn more about an issue that affects young people in communities of all kinds. At Kids Help Phone, we have experienced increases in young people reaching out with concerns relating to bullying during past Bullying Awareness Week campaigns, so these messages are being heard. The important thing now is to keep getting them out there, and parents, teachers, coaches, and members of the media can all play a role in making sure that happens."
Bullying: Tips to help make a difference
- Educate yourself about all types of bullying: this includes verbal bullying, physical, social (e.g., gossip, purposely excluding others), cyberbullying, and racialized and homophobic bullying (e.g., bullying someone based on the colour of their skin, or perceived sexual orientation).
- Talk about cyberbullying. Help kids understand that making negative comments online or via text message is hurtful, and that once those comments are made, they can exist online for a long time.
- Encourage them to be assertive, but never aggressive. Fighting or yelling doesn't help anyone.
- Openly communicate that you will not take away their technology privileges if they confide in you that they are being cyberbullied. This is not the answer and will only make them less likely to tell you if something is happening to them.
- Be supportive. Don't minimize what your child is going through. Listen to your child and try to understand the impact the bullying is having on them, and assure them that you are on their side.
- Repeatedly let your child know that they are not alone and encourage them not to give up. Kids Help Phone's professional counsellors are always here to help at 1-800-668-6868 or kidshelpphone.ca
About Kids Help Phone
Kids Help Phone is a Canadian and world leader, known for our expertise in providing vital, innovative, and professional counselling services to children and youth. Since 1989 we have offered children, teens and young adults in Canada a critical lifeline of hope and support, through our free, anonymous and confidential service. Our professional counsellors support the mental health and well-being of young people ages five to 20, in urban, rural, and remote communities, by providing one-on-one counselling, information and resources online and by phone. Our internationally recognized, award-winning websites are considered a model of child-focused interactive design, and offer online counselling forums and engaging, therapeutic games, tools and information to encourage resilience and self-care. A community-based national charity, Kids Help Phone receives no guaranteed ongoing financial support from government or any large funder and relies on community and corporate support to keep our essential service available. We're there for the *6.5 million young people in Canada, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in English and in French.
*Source: represents the age group Kids Help Phone serves (from five to 20) according to Statistics Canada, 2013.
1 1.Knighton, L., Simon, A., Kelly, J., and Kimball, A. (2012), Cyberbullying: Reality check (Kids Help Phone Research Update), 10. Retrieved from http://org.kidshelpphone.ca/media/80712/2012-cir-cyberbullying.pdf
2 Craig, W. M. & Pepler, D. (1997). "Observations of Bullying and Victimization in the School Yard". Canadian Journal of School of Psychology, 13(2): 41-60.
SOURCE Kids Help Phone