Our staff and kids wore orange today in support of bullying prevention. Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose. Bullying can occur in-person or through technology.
Bullying, Mental Health, & Suicide
There has been research studies to show the relationship between bullying, mental health, and suicide. Although not all cases lead to suicide, many cases can have an affect on our mental health.
- Research indicates that persistent bullying can lead to or worsen feelings of isolation, rejection, exclusion, and despair, as well as depression and anxiety, which can contribute to suicidal behavior.
- Most young people who die by suicide have multiple risk factors.
- A recent CDC publication – PDF provides more information on the relationship between bullying and suicide.
Bullying can affect any young person, but there are characteristics and circumstances that put certain young people at higher risk. Read more about risk factors.
There is no federal anti-bullying law. Although 49 states have anti-bullying legislation, bullying is not illegal.
In particular, when a youth dies by suicide, it is misleading to cover the story as a crime. Rather, consider covering it as a public health issue.
When bullying is also harassment, it does break federal law.
Learn more about laws related to bullying.
Do You Know Someone Who Has Been Bullied?
If you know someone who has been bullied or is bullying, we offer services to help.