girl at school being bullied

You're Not Alone. Let's Cope with Bullying Together.

Children, teens and young adults face a world of challenges and withstand pressures from every angle. Bullying is one of these pressures. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, one in five students reports being bullied. This is an alarming statistic. Whether you are a parent, teacher, or facing bullying yourself, Community Health Network can provide information and resources. You are not alone. We are here for you.

It’s important to understand more about bullying, before getting into how it can be managed or coped with. Everyone accidentally says or does things that are hurtful to others, but bullying is an intentional behavior. Bullying can happen anywhere, not just at school. Even if your child is doing virtual learning, they still may be struggling with a bully. The way that bullying occurs can be different for each person.

How Bullying Occurs

Female bullies often attack through rumors, exclusion, teasing and insults. They are also more likely to gossip about others online. The goal is to damage the person’s reputation and isolate them from others. Research indicates that the risk of suicide thoughts and attempts seems to be higher for girl victims and girl bullies, no matter how often it happens.

Males typically bully by using physical power over someone in an attempt to gain control. They may engage in fights, or use the threat of physical violence to torment someone. They may also damage someone's property to add pressure and scare them further. Male bullying is often more direct or face-to-face.

Coping with Bullying

Most kids or teens will not ask for help, so it’s important to know what to watch out for. Someone who is suffering from the effects of bullying will often show behavioral or emotional changes. Be on the lookout for:

  • Unexplained injuries
  • Lost or destroyed personal items
  • Frequent headaches or stomach aches to potentially avoid school
  • Changes in eating
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Declining grades and disinterest
  • Sudden loss of friends
  • Feelings of helplessness or decreased self-esteem
  • Self-destructive behaviors

Even if you don’t think your child or loved one is experiencing bullying, have the conversation anyways.

  • Ask questions about how they get along with others in school and outside of school. Who do they like? Who do they not get along with?
  • Listen to how they describe any incidents with those they don’t get along with.
  • What is the frequency of the bullying?
  • Learn what has happened from your child’s perspective.
  • Ask if they hear rumors about themselves or other kids. Encourage them not to respond and not to forward bullying or cyberbullying messages about others.
  • Keep a record of events that occur so you can examine the situation holistically.
  • Teach your child what to do in the event of cyberbullying.
  • Let them know that it is always okay to talk about it. Keep the conversation going.

Let’s start by bringing awareness into the home. Have a conversation with your loved ones. Reach out to someone you can confide in. Remember that you’re never alone, no matter your circumstances. If you are a parent, friend, or even experiencing bullying yourself, Community Health Network can help.

How to Get Help

If you suspect your child is being bullied or you are experiencing it firsthand, contact Community Health Network’s Behavioral Health Services at 317-621-5700. We are here to listen and help you get through this.

If you are having suicidal thoughts or are experiencing a mental health crisis, text IN to 741741 or get 24-hour crisis support.

You can also explore some of the resources below: