The Connection Between Mental Health Awareness and ‘Anti-Bullying’
With the national dialog on mental health awareness continues, bullying has become a vague word lately. It is as simple as cause and effect; something caused a student to lash out, and there will be effects from it on other students. It is widely accepted that students who feel bullied in their schools can have lingering mental health side effects.
Fortunately, there has been a shift in Administrative perspective from:
How do we enforce students’ behavior and stop bullying incidents in schools.
We should support students who feel bullied and address the cause of bullying incidents.
I believe this is an amazing step forward already in Mental Health and ‘Anti-Bullying’. The unfortunate trend in teen depression and suicide has shone a light on the hidden and silent ramifications of bullying. Now everyone has their attention turned on the quiet kid who tries to slink around unnoticed, or that one friend that seems too cheery and perfect all the time, making sure their friends don’t show signs of depression. Schools are beginning to take great strides forward in their attention to students who are bullied, and trying to make their students feel safe from possible emergency situations.
But What About The Bully?
1. Most of us have been the bully at one point in someone else’s life.
2. Most bullies are struggling with their own mental health ie. ‘they have their reasons.’
Not only do these students need to be held accountable for their actions, but also they should receive the same amount of (if not more) support afterwards. Building a connection before or even after an incident and helping students overcome their own mental health struggles would greatly reduce bullying incidents between students. We believe that this holistic approach works by addressing the core issues that all students face.
The main reason we created FightSong! was to give schools a great tool to be able to facilitate better conversations with all students about a range of issues while continuing to gather important data for your school. With May being Mental Health Awareness Month, and bullying going hand-in-hand with mental health, I thought I would write a small series about different Mental Health Issues students commonly struggle with.
This month, I will briefly cover the following:
- Home Life: Greatest Impact on Mental Health
- Substance Abuse
- Emerging Psychological Issues
- Eating Disorders
- Social Stress (Othering)
I will definitely link some great resources tailored for each topic, so stay tuned!