October is National Bullying Prevention Month. In support, Be Unlimited is taking a major stand against bullying. We hope that you stand with us.
Life is not always easy. But you have to get up and face it every day. Some days will be more challenging than others, depending on your situation. If it’s something particularly difficult, it will help to have some support…life support.
That support can come from a good friend, a teacher, or a family member. Choose someone who you are certain has your back and someone who you can trust. Speak up and tell them when you need help dealing with an issue or confronting a problem.
No one expects you to figure everything out on your own. It helps to have a support team, people who care about you and want the best for you. But a support team can only work for you when you call on them. In other words, the only way to really get the help you need is to ask for it. There is no shame in asking for help. We all need help at some point.
This lesson really hits home for me today. I recently learned of a former student who could have used a support team during a very difficult time. Had I known what this student was going through, I would have done something to help. But I didn’t know because, for whatever the reason, this student never reached out to me.
Maybe they felt ashamed? Maybe they were embarrassed by their situation? Maybe they were afraid? I can ask these questions to myself now, but I can never answer them.
This student that I’m writing about was artistic, funny, intelligent, and kind to everyone. Last year, this student transferred to another school. We lost touch, which sometimes happens. That’s around the time when things in this student’s life changed. From what I’ve been told, this student became the target of relentless bullying at their new school.
Things got so bad that this student left school without finishing the year and never went back. I tried to contact the family, but haven’t been able to. I hear they moved to another state. It’s a very sad situation. What makes it even sadder is that I wasn’t able to help this student when they needed it most.
Even though I didn’t know what was happening at the time, I’m stuck with the what ifs. What if I could have done something? What if I could have gotten help for this student? What if I could have made things better? I might never see or speak to this student again, especially if they’ve moved to another state. So, what can I really do for them now? How can I truly be useful at this point? I don’t have it all figured out either.
But I am encouraging anyone out there in a difficult situation right now to use their voice and talk to someone. Keep talking until someone listens. Keep talking until someone helps. There is someone out there who has your back and who cares about you. Find them.
In the meantime, add Be Unlimited to your support team. If you or someone you know is currently struggling with bullying, consider calling one of the helplines listed below. There are trained professionals waiting to help.
There’s help at the end of the line when you call the Boys Town National Hotline, which is not just for boys, by the way. Whether you’re a child, teen or parent, they can help. 1-800-448-3000.
2NDFLOOR is a confidential and anonymous helpline for New Jersey’s youth and young adults. If you need to talk about an issue or problem that you are facing, call 2NDFLOOR at 1-888-222-2228.
The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. If you are a youth who is feeling alone, confused or in crisis, please call The Trevor Lifeline at 1-866-4-U-TREVOR for immediate help.