As a society, we’ve become more aware of bullying as a devastating form of abuse that can have long-terms effects on victims, negatively impacting their self-esteem, isolating them from their peers and in more serious cases, leading to depression, anxiety, substance abuse and sometimes suicide. Studies estimate that as many as 160,000 students may stay home on any given day because they’re afraid of being bullied and the emotional pain they’ve caused. With the prevalence of cyberbullying, even more youth and young adults are finding themselves to be a victim of bullying.
May is National Mental Health Awareness Month and Magellan Health Services is calling attention to mental health and bullying for its second annual Take Mental Health To Heart campaign. Magellan has partnered with The Jed Foundation, the nation’s leading organization working to promote emotional health and prevent suicide among college students and young adults, to raise awareness about the mental health effects of bullying and encourage people to take responsibility for building a bully-free community. Throughout the month, Magellan and The Jed Foundation will share information about bullying from the perspective of the victim, the bully, parents and bystanders.
Bullying Comes in Many Forms
There are many types of bullying, all of which can be equally harmful emotionally and physically to the victim. Bullying may be verbal, when the bully uses derogatory or mocking words to attack the victim; social, when a bully or bullies isolate the victim from a social group or cause damage to the victim’s reputation; or physical, when a bully actually hurts the victim’s body or possessions. A recent study by the U.S. National Institutes of Health found that victims of cyberbullying, an increasingly popular form of bullying that involves the use of Internet, texting and social media to harm and intimidate others, showed more signs of depression than other bullying victims.