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Tipsheet: Detecting Bullying and Risk of Suicide

Tipsheet: Detecting Bullying and Risk of Suicide

Whether by traditional means or via cyberspace, bullying and peer victimization put adolescents at increased risk for suicide, especially when comorbid psychopathology is present. Findings from cross-sectional studies suggest the existence of differential risk profiles by sex as well as by the frequency and severity of the bullying: female bullies are at increased risk for suicide, even when their bullying is infrequent; males appear to be at increased risk for suicidal ideation, but only when they are bullied frequently.

TIPSHEET: DETECTING BULLYING AND RISK OF SUICIDE

ASSESSMENT and SCREENING

Assess childhood bullying using the child’s self-report as well as reports from peers, parents, and teachers

Screen children who are frequently involved in bullying behavior for psychiatric problems: school-based screening can be implemented using parent and teacher symptom checklists

EDUCATION and AWARENESS

Offer psychoeducation about “healthy” online behavior; advise parents to supervise their children’s online behavior

Be cautious with awareness messaging making sure that it does not overemphasize the link between cyberbullying and suicide (eg, showing videos of youths who have killed themselves after being bullied)

Familiarize yourself with techniques to stop bullying; teach victims the behaviors needed to end bullying   

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Bullies2Buddies: The Golden Rule System

Sources of Strength Suicide Prevention Program

Bullying and Suicide by Anat Brusnstein Klomek, PhD, Andre Sourander, MD, and Madelyn S. Gould, PhD, MPH

A Fun, Poweful Technique for Teaching Children How to Stop Being Bullied by Doris Greenberg, MD, and Israel Kalman, MS

 

 
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