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06 Oct, Thursday
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Montreal Families

Anti-bullying website gaining popularity

There is no shortage of devastating stories about bullying on the news. But for over three years, no-bullying.org has made it its mission to put an end to bullying by creating a safe forum for teens, parents and teachers to get help. It is garnering international attention because of its content; as of last March, more than one million people had visited the website.

Based out of Northern Ireland, the website was created by parents whose children had been bullied but could not find adequate resources or helpful information. The website covers a broad range of topics relating to bullying, including professional advice from psychologists on how to deal with cyber bullying.

One of the website’s main features is its blog, where visitors can find thousands of articles related to bullying. Most of the content is generated by volunteer contributors, many of whom are healthcare professionals, teachers, psychologists, counsellors and people who have been affected by bullying. Visitors can either scroll through the stories or use the search bar to find a specific topic. In most of the website sections (Teens, Parents, Teachers, etc.) related articles are suggested at the bottom of the page.

The ‘Teens’ section outlines different methods of dealing with bullies. The website explains that bullies tend to target those who are alone in order to exert power over them, and advises teens to stay close to friends. Teens are also advised to be confident and stand up for themselves since bullies gravitate towards those they believe will not confront them. Bullied teens are told to seek help by confiding in a teacher if the situation occurs at school or reporting back to a trusted adult if they witness someone else being bullied.

The site also discusses the harmful effects bullying can have on a child or teenager, including poor grades, depression, not wanting to attend school, self-harm and sadly, in extreme cases, suicide. The ‘Health & Wellbeing’ section outlines the toll bullying can take on a child’s mental and physical health and offers advice from psychologists and other healthcare professionals.

A section of the website is dedicated to identifying when bullying crosses over into abusive behaviour, and lists certain actions to watch out for, such as jealousy or threats or violence.

With so many different types of digital communication platforms available to teens, cyber bullying has become an increasing problem. Under ‘Internet Safety for Teens,’ they examine cyber bullying behaviour and explain that it is just as traumatizing and painful as face-to-face bullying. One of the main tips for teens is to not share personal information online or meet with people they have spoken to online. They also suggest that parents keep the computer in a centralized location in order to monitor activity.

Under the ‘Parents’ tab, there are several sub-sections devoted to helping parents have open communication with their child. They advise parents to nurture children’s self-esteem and to make time to be with their child despite busy work and school schedules.

The ‘Teachers’ section outlines the three types of bullying that takes place at school: physical, emotional and verbal. Advice is offered on how to stop bullying in the classroom and encourages building strong peer-to-peer relationships through teamwork and communication. They also suggest that administrators enforce strict policies to deter bullying and to encourage students to report acts of bullying.

There is a resource section available that offers helpful discussion starters for parents and teachers, including situational activities to help identify a bully and offering advice for kids on how to express their concerns if they feel they are being targeted.

More than 60 per cent of visitors to the website are from Canada or the United States, 20 per cent from Ireland and the United Kingdom, and the remaining 20 per cent from around the world.

For more information, visit no-bullying.org.

#Check out the #EnoughIsEnough – Say YES to NoBullying video below

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