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Bullying and Suicide
There is a strong link between bullying and suicide, as suggested by recent bullying-related suicides in the US and other countries. Parents, teachers, and students learn the dangers of bullying and help students who may be at risk of committing suicide.
In recent years, a series of bullying-related suicides in the US and across the globe have drawn attention to the connection between bullying and suicide. Though too many adults still see bullying as "just part of being a kid," it is a serious problem that leads to many negative effects for victims, including suicide. Many people may not realize that there is also a link between being a bully and committing suicide.
The statistics on bullying and suicide are alarming:
Bully-related suicide can be connected to any type of bullying, including physical bullying, emotional bullying, cyberbullying, and sexting, or circulating suggestive or nude photos or messages about a person.
Some schools or regions have more serious problems with bullying and suicide related to bullying. This may be due to an excessive problem with bullying at the school. It could also be related to the tendency of students who are exposed to suicide to consider suicide themselves.
Some of the warning signs of suicide can include:
If a person is displaying these symptoms, talk to them about your concerns and get them help right away, such as from a counselor, doctor, or at the emergency room.
In some cases, it may not be obvious that a teen is thinking about suicide, such as when the suicide seems to be triggered by a particularly bad episode of bullying. In several cases where bullying victims killed themselves, bullies had told the teen that he or she should kill him or herself or that the world would be better without them. Others who hear these types of statements should be quick to stop them and explain to the victim that the bully is wrong.
Other ways to help people who may be considering suicide include:
People who are thinking about suicide should talk to someone right away or go to an emergency room. They can also call a free suicide hotline, such as 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Friends and relatives of suicide victims also need to find someone to talk to as they grieve, especially if they are suffering from depression or suicidal thoughts themselves.
Sources:WebMD, Depression Guide, "Recognizing the Warning Signs of Suicide" [online]
Nemours, KidsHealth, "Helping Kids Deal with Bullies" [online]
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Suicide Prevention, "Youth Suicide" [online]
Yale University, Office of Public Affairs, "Bullying-Suicide Link Explored in New Study by Researchers at Yale" [online]
Matt Dickinson, The Independent, "Research finds bullying link to child suicides" [online]
Michael Inbar, MSNBC Today, "Sexting bullying cited in teen's suicide" [online]
Susan Donaldson James, ABC News, Health, "Teen Commits Suicide Due to Bullying: Parents Sue School for Son's Death" [online]
Erik Eckholm and Katie Zezima, The New York Times, "6 Teenagers Are Charged After Classmate's Suicide" [online]
Related Article: OLWEUS Bullying Prevention Program >>