Dakota Center for Independent Living

Mental Illness Awareness Month #4

Bullying and Mental Health

Children that experience bullying may experience serious emotional and mental disabilities.  Bullying may interfere with social development, and self-esteem.  Children who have been bullied are also at increased risk for problems with anxiety and depression.

What can I do as a parent?  Help your child to understand what bullying is and teach them how to safely stand up for themselves and others.

Always communicate.  Check with your children often.  Listen to them.  Know who their friends are, ask questions about school, understand, and listen to their concerns.

Child Abuse and Mental Illness

Child abuse is becoming an epidemic, and studies show that it can change how the brain functions.  These changes appear to be significant enough to cause psychological and emotional problems that extend into adulthood.

Prevent Abuse.  If you suspect a child is being abused, immediately report your suspicions to the proper authorities.  Do not remain silent; a child’s well-being may be in your hands.

Be An Advocate.  Let children know that it is okay to go to you or another adult if they are having problems or are worried about something.  Ensure them that what is going on is not their fault.  Encourage them to speak out if they themselves or anyone they know is being mistreated.