As a victim, parent, witness, or concerned relative or friend, many would like to know what they can do to help alleviate bullying. There are many things you can do to help prevent or stop bullying. The person being bullied may feel trapped or too embarrassed to reach out and ask for help. However, the good news is you don’t have to be bullied to help. Together, children, young adults, adults, and friends can help stop bullying.

DONT STAY QUIET! If you’re being bullied, don’t be afraid to speak up! Don’t know who to talk to? Talk to someone who you trust and can help. Reach out to a parent, teacher, relative,friend, school nurse or counselor. Don’t be afraid to talk to your school administration and find out what procedures and regulations they have in place for bullying. Let them know what’s going on! Feel embarrassed about it? Don’t be! You can’t get help if you don’t ask for it! Keep in mind, there are also 1-800 numbers to call to get help. If bullying has made you think of harming yourself, you can call the National Suicide Awareness Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Stop Bullying Now! (A resource website sponsored by the US Department of health and human services). Remember talking about it does HELP!

STAY with a friend! Being alone increases the risk of becoming a victim to bullying. Alone? Look into programs such as Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and see if you qualify. Make friends with volunteers at places like a library or church. Don’t be surprised by how many police officers want to help. Next time you see one on break, ask for advice. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed.

PARENTS: Talk to your child(ren) and encourage them to act by speaking up. Give them the confidence they need. Praise your child for being brave, and most importantly, remind them that they are loved. When your child is trying to communicate with you, remind yourself that it is NOT easy for them and don’t take it lightly. LISTEN and remember they are reaching out to YOU for help.

For those that witness bullying or may know someone who they think is being bullied, you can play a very important role.SPEAK UP! If you really want to help, the next time you see someone being bullied, report it immediately! Make a new friend or become a mentor.

Educate yourself on bullying. Look up other anti-bully websites and see what advice they have. One great resource is the “Stomp Out Bullying” website. Let’s put an end to bullying by stopping one bully at a time! Remember it only takes one person to lead! Don’t be afraid to rise above!

Many bullies thrive on seeing your reaction and while it may be easier said than done, don’t give in and give them the satisfaction of seeing you upset. As hard as it can be, ignore the bully, smile, and walk away with your head held up high.