Today I had the opportunity to speak alongside one of the counsellors of Kids Help Phone. We travelled outside the Halifax, Nova Scotia area to speak to students about what KHP can offer youth across Canada. It is a free service for kids from age 5-20. They actually have real counsellors on the phone and NOT just someone at a call centre.
One of the big problems found in many communities has been bullying. Specifically cyber-bullying. I learned that there have been students over the last few years in the Halifax school system, who have committed suicide due to the result of bullying. This is a serious issue not only affecting this community but, so many in both Canada and the United States. As a young person, it can be challenging to navigate through life facing all the difficult challenges each day.
Everyone worries. Everyone has issues they are dealing with whether they are a teenager or an adult. Life is a series of twists and turns and ups and downs. It’s very important for you to understand that if you feel like you are being bullied, you speak out. Find someone to talk to get through it. It may seem like the end of the world but, trust me when I say, you will get through it.
Remember that at some point everyone has felt alone and it’s just a matter of how you respond to it.
According to recent statistics, those who are cyber-bullied are twice as likely to consider suicide. Like I always tell the youth I speak to, suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. It’s going to be ok.
Find someone you can trust to talk to. Maybe it’s a parent, teacher, friend, family member. If you can’t find anyone, confidential crisis lines like Kids Help Phone (in Canada) and the All About Counselling crisis line (in the United States) are there to help. For more links to hotlines in the U.S. the Palo Alto Medical Foundation has a list of links available.