International Suicide Prevention Hotlines:
Longer version: Bullying is terrible, and it has been around since the beginning of time. The one thing I want every teen who is being bullied to know is that IT DOES GET BETTER. Right now may be awful, but I want you to look forward and know that one day you will look back on this time in your life and it will be the past and you will be in a better place. To help you think that way, here is a list of celebrities who are open with their own experiences of being bullied when they were in school:
I mean, look at that list! And this is not a complete list. Think about their lives now and how they are living a dream that they have had and how they understand what you, the bullied, are going through.
Now, bullying causes a lot of stress and can also cause depression. Any situation that causes chronic and relentless stress and trauma can change brain chemistry that in turn results in depression. What to do? Make sure depression is treated! That may mean counseling or medication or both. I want you to know that depression is treatable, and most deaths by suicide are in patients with depression.
You have the right to be safe at school and in your community. That means in real life as well as online. What can you do if you are being bullied?
Here are some suggestions from PrevNet Canada:
- Tell a trusted adult. If things don’t improve after talking to that first person, go tell another. This can be a teacher, a parent, a guidance counselor, your doctor, a family member or a friend.
- If you can’t say it out loud, write it down and share what you wrote with a trusted adult.
- Take away their power by acting brave and standing tall even when you are scared. Stand up for yourself.
- Hang out with people that support you. Walk in groups and do group activities that you enjoy.
- There are laws to protect you. You can seek help from the police in some cases.
- You can get help from Child Helpline International:
- For Cyberbullying, you can report it right to the social media companies involved. How to report online.
Bullying is awful, and unfortunately so many young people experience it. Many countries and organizations are working hard to decrease bullying and to prevent it. I have shared only a few links here, but there are many more. If you are bullied, it WILL get better. It is awful now, but it will not be forever. You do not have to just accept it. Reach out to get help in dealing with the bullies. Sometimes you have to go to more than one person for help, but don’t give up.
Suicide is never the answer. If you are thinking about hurting yourself or ending your life, once again, here is the link for the International Suicide Prevention Hotlines:
Lastly, depression is real and trauma like bullying can worsen or cause it. But depression is treatable. Do not be shy about asking for help or treatment.