TORONTO, Nov. 8, 2012 /CNW/ - Bullying can happen almost anywhere - in
classrooms, on the schoolyard, on sports teams, and even at home,
especially now as text messaging, social media, and online forums
become a major part of how we communicate, reach out to each other and
This November, Kids Help Phone is asking everyone in Canada to do
something about all types of bullying by sharing this message through
their social media networks and email signatures:
Bullying: it happens. Choose to make a difference. Stand Up. Step In.
Reach out. Tell someone, or tell Kids Help Phone.
Bullying Awareness Week runs from November 12th to 18th. Empowering young people to stand up to bullying is not always easy.
But we can all make a difference in the lives of young people
everywhere when we take action like learning more about bullying;
raising awareness about supports that are available to young people;
and uniting to take a stand against bullying.
In a 2011 survey, Kids Help Phone found that, "as young people abandon
email in favour of phone-based text messaging, text messaging [is now]
the second most common platform for cyberbullying." Where social
networking once was once ranked third, it now comes in first.
Adults must recognize that technology is an integral part of young
people's lives and is here to stay. We now know that cyberbullying
can't be solved simply by restricting young people's access to cell
phones, computers, or other devices; often, the youth end up feeling
alienated and alone instead. Many young people say that they don't
tell their parents about cyberbullying because they are afraid of
losing their technology privileges.
Kids Help Phone sought-after expertise
In May of this year, Kids Help Phone was an intervener in a case
presented to the Supreme Court of Canada and the Standing Senate
Committee on Human Rights advocating to protect the anonymity and
confidentiality of young people who are cyberbullied. The organization
stood up on behalf of children and youth to reinforce to the Canadian
Cyberbullying has become an increasingly pervasive and damaging form of
bullying. It also tends to co-occur alongside other forms of bullying,
extending a young person's experience beyond the schoolyard and other
outside environments and into the home.
Canada should support environments where young people are encouraged to
report cyberbullying in a safe manner, without fear of retaliation.
We must create physically and psychologically safe spaces for all young
people within the school environment, and especially for certain groups
that have been shown to experience higher rates and more negative
outcomes because of bullying, such as young people who are or are
perceived as LGBTQ.
The Supreme Court ruled that young people, merely by their age, need
their identities protected in order to access relief from
cyberbullying. You can read the entire Supreme Court decision here: http://scc.lexum.org/en/2012/2012scc46/2012scc46.html
Did you know:
In 2011, Kids Help Phone saw a 10% increase in calls during Bullying
The average Canadian elementary classroom contains at least one or two
students who have experienced bullying
10% of the contacts Kids Help Phone receives over the phone and online
relate to bullying
65% of youth who answered a Kids Help Phone 2011 survey reported that
they had been cyberbullied
35% of youth who answered another independent Kids Help Phone online
survey said they witness bullying on a daily basis, including at
school, after school, and online.
1 in 5 middle school students report avoiding restrooms at school due to
fear of being bullied.
87% of students in grades 8 to 10 reported witnessing school bullying in
the past year.
Bystanders can stop bullying: Studies have shown that bullying stops
within 10 seconds more than half of the time when a bystander
What Kids Help Phone is doing to support anti-bullying initiatives and
Bullying Awareness Week - and how you can join in:
During Bullying Awareness Week, gather with the kids in your life and
take some time together to visit kidshelpphone.ca's new content on
bullying and cyberbullying. The kids and teens websites will feature
refreshed content for kids who have been bullied, witnessed bullying or
have engaged in bullying themselves; new clinically-endorsed
interactive games; and tools and resources designed to help young
people plan for their own safety until they are able to reach out.
Kids Help Phone joins Family Channel as the network celebrates its 10th
annual Bullying Awareness Week with a comprehensive campaign
encouraging Canadian students to Join the Stand UP! Network and stop
bullying in their communities. Visit www.family.ca/StandUp to pledge to
Stand UP! bullying pledge and download anti-bullying resources.
On Monday, November 12, listen for the radio-release of "True Colours."
Seven prominent Canadian recording artists - Jacob Hoggard (Hedley),
Pierre Bouvier (Simple Plan), Lights, Kardinal Offishall, Alyssa Reid,
Febe Dobson, and Walk off the Earth - cover Cyndi Lauper's classic hit
to raise awareness about bullying and raise money for Kids Help Phone.
The song will be available on iTunes on Tuesday, November 13, with
proceeds from each download benefitting Kids Help Phone.
On Friday, November 16, Family Channel will also air a bullying special
at 5pm EST featuring Kids Help Phone professional counsellor Caitlin
Parsons. The special will be followed by an evening of bullying-themed
Tune in to TVOKids on Monday, November 19 for a special edition of the
Help Zone. Kids Help Phone counsellor Duane is co-hosting and he'll be
answering kids' questions about bullying. Starts at 4pm EST.
On Tuesday, November 20, the Toronto Argonauts host the Huddle Up
Bullying Prevention Program presented by Tim Hortons, an anti-bullying
initiative in Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto. A Kids Help Phone
counsellor will be there to answer questions from kids and to hand out
materials to the 1,000 young people expected to attend. To conclude the
Bullying Prevention Day, recognized writer and speaker, Barbara Coloroso will share her insights on the bully, the bullied and the bystander;
the evening starts at 7pm with a panel discussion featuring a student,
parent, school administrator, police officer and a Kids Help Phone professional counsellor.
What our professional counsellors are saying
"Kids Help Phone hears from many young people who are impacted by
bullying," says Alain Johnson, Clinical Director, Kids Help Phone.
"Some of the youth who call us are experiencing bullying, others are
bystanders, and some are bullies themselves. Empowering young people is
important, because it helps them to change their situation. When we
remind them that they have a choice to tell someone, to ask for help,
or to reach out and be there for a friend or a classmate, it can make a
Bullying: Tips to help make a difference
Educate yourself about all types of bullying: this includes verbal
bullying, physical, social (e.g., gossip, purposely excluding others),
cyberbullying, racialized and homophobic bullying (e.g., bullying
someone based on the colour of their skin, or perceived sexual
Talk about cyberbullying. Help kids understand that making negative
comments online or via text message is hurtful, and that once those
comments are made, they can exist online for a long time.
Encourage them to be assertive, not aggressive. Fighting doesn't help
Openly communicate that you will not take away their technology
privileges if they confide in you that they are being cyberbullied.
This is not the answer and will only make them less likely to tell you
if something is happening to them.
Be supportive. Don't minimize what your child is going through. Listen
to your child and try to understand the impact the bullying is having
on them, and assure them that you are on their side.
Encourage young people to do activities that they enjoy and that help
them to feel good about themselves, such as a favourite sport or hobby.
About Kids Help Phone
Kids Help Phone is a Canadian and world leader, known for our expertise
in providing vital, innovative, and professional counselling services
to children and youth. Since 1989 we have offered children, teens and
young adults in Canada a critical lifeline of hope and support, through
our free, anonymous and confidential service. Our professional
counsellors support the mental health and well-being of young people
ages five to 20, in urban, rural, and remote communities, by providing
one-on-one counselling, information and resources online and by phone.
Our internationally recognized, award-winning websites are considered a
model of child-focused interactive design, and offer online counseling
forums and engaging, therapeutic games, tools and information to
encourage resilience and self-care. A community-based national charity,
Kids Help Phone receives no core government funding and relies on
community and corporate support to keep our essential service
available. We're available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in English
and in French.
To learn more about Kids Help Phone, please visit www.kidshelpphone.ca.
You can also follow us at:
SOURCE: Kids Help Phone
For further information:
For more tips, and to set up an interview with a Kids Help Phone counsellor about Bullying Awareness Week, please contact: