As parents, we obsess about keeping our children safe. We worry when they first learn to walk, when they learn to ride a bike or drive a car and finally when they leave home to go off on their own. Their safety is always our utmost concern. What does not always come to mind in keeping our children safe is the importance of their mental health.
At OCMS, we support children’s mental health through the work of our Community Partner, NoBLE. No Bullying Live Empowered (NoBLE) is a Beaumont Children’s Hospital program providing integrated education, guidance and support for bullied children and families affected by bullying.
The statistics and effects of bullying are staggering:
- One out of every four students report being bullied during the school year.
- It is estimated that 160,000 children stay out of school on any given day because they are afraid of being bullied.
- Students who experience bullying are at increased risk for poor school adjustment, sleep difficulties, anxiety, and depression.
- Students victimized by their peers were 2.4 times more likely to report suicidal ideation and 3.3 times more likely to report a suicide attempt than youth who reported not being bullied.
There are several ways that children who are victims of bullying and their families can get help. They can call the 24/7 hotline: 855-876-6253 which is operated by Common Ground, a non-profit crisis intervention agency. They can text the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 from anywhere in the country, and lastly, they can go to the website www.ok2say.com, a program designed to empower Michigan students, parents, school personnel, community mental health service programs, and law enforcement to share and respond to student safety threats.
OCMS published two documents on bullying with the help of NoBLE and The Health Law Partners Group. One is for physicians to recognize the signs of a patient who may be affected by bullying and one is for families and how they can get help for their child. To download the documents click here.
The Oakland County Youth Suicide Prevention Task Force is also having a Youth Suicide Prevention Community Forum on Friday, May 20th from 8:30 A.M. – 12:00 P.M. at the Troy Community Center. For more information click here.
For more information on the National Federation of Families and the events happening this week across the country for National Children's Mental Health Awareness Week click here.