Cyber bullying and Mental Health
Of those who experience cyber bullying approximately 8% consider suicide as a response to the pain
Mental health professionals note this as being one the most rapidly growing issues that they face as being connected to depression and social isolation.
Repetitive cyper bullying can create/increase the development of a variety of mental health issues such as self injury, suicide, substance use and eating disorders and a method of managing the pain of the cyber-abuse.
A child or teenager may be a victim of cyber bullying if he or she: unexpectedly stops using their computer or cell phone;
appears nervous or jumpy when an instant message or email appears;
appears uneasy about going to school or outside in general;
appears to be angry, depressed, or frustrated after using the computer or cell phone;
avoids discussions about what they are doing on the computer or cell phone;
Becomes abnormally withdrawn from usual friends and family members.
What Can I do?
Communicate with your children, keep lines of communication open
Enforce "unplugged time" each day
Know your children's passwords and openly communicate that you want to see their social media accounts, text messages, etc
Help your child develop a strong self concept, assertiveness and problem solving skills-this will be their best defense against bullying!
Work with other parents and the school to assist in stopping any cyber bullying that occurs. Most schools have policies against it and many states have anti-bullying laws that include electronic bullying, including Missouri. Kansas and Oklahoma