Bullying is an unfortunately common experience for children and teenagers. According to the American Society for the Positive Care of Children, about one in three students have been bullied at school. Bullying can take many different forms, such as verbal threats, physical attacks, spreading rumors, and social exclusion. In the age of social media, cyberbullying is becoming more common as a form of bullying. Cyberbullying might include sending harassing messages or posting embarrassing photos of someone.
Middle school students report the highest incidence of bullying. Some children and teenagers may be more vulnerable to bullying than others. This may be due perceived differences from their peers, being seen as “less popular,” or having low self-esteem. Some students may become targets of bullies because of their race, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability as well. LGBTQ+ students are at an especially high risk for bullying.
Bullying can have a detrimental impact on the mental health and well-being of children and teenagers. Research has shown that children and teenagers who are bullied are more likely to experience depression, anxiety and low self-esteem than non-bullied peers. Because of heightened rates of depression and anxiety, bullied children and teenagers may be more susceptible to suicidal thoughts or behavior.
Children and teenagers who have experienced bullying and are experiencing mental health issues should take advantage of the mental health services at North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center. These services include comprehensive evaluation, an individually tailored treatment plan that may include any combination of individual, family, and group therapy, and, when indicated, medication management from a psychiatrist. All treatment plans require family consent and participation. For more information about our services, please call us at 516-626-1971.
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