Signs your child is being bullied

Warning Signs

Up to 25% of students report having been bullied at some point in their lives, and of this percentage, there are a certain number of cases that result in very, very severe outcomes.

The consequences of bullying extend from low self-esteem, social withdrawal and isolation, maladjustment on both a social and emotional level, to potential for substance abuse and failing grades.  Victims may become depressed, experience anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, struggle with anger, aggression or hostility, experience suicidal ideation, or attempt suicide.

How to discuss bullying and suicide with your child.

It is important to learn how to recognize if your child is being bullied and to recognize if your child is struggling with thoughts of suicide. Understand that asking directly about suicide will not make your child suicidal or plant the idea.

To speak openly and directly, without judgement, can bring relief to that person. A child will already be struggling with lower self esteem because of the bullying and will be looking to you for your love and support. They fear that they will upset you and possibly lose that love.

It is important that you listen and reassure your child that you will be there to help.

In 2006 the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) reported that “suicide is rarely a spur of the moment decision. In the days and hours before people kill themselves, there are usually clues and warning signs”. The WFMH (2006) compiled a list of warning signs that could help identify if someone was contemplating suicide;