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Kids At Risk Day On The Morning Zone: More on Youth Suicides Due to Bullying

Today in our Kids-At-Risk series, we will continue to explore some of the important facts and issues surrounding school bullying and suicide. Join host Dave Chaffin, child advocate attorney John Frentheway, licensed professional counselor Renee Hansen and Marvin Nash of Bullying Hurts and The Nash Foundation starting at 7:07AM MST today.

Here are some interesting facts we compiled about this serious subject:

Suicide is one of the leading causes of death among school-aged children, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many of these child victims also were victims of bullying at school, and several sources have established at least an indirect link between school bullying and suicide.
Theories/Speculation
A 2008 study by Yale School of Medicine showed a significant correlation between suicidal thoughts and bullying, with bullying victims up to nine times more likely to harbor suicidal thoughts than other students. Studies have not established a direct link, however, because they do not examine other factors such as psychiatric problems and past suicide attempts.
Significance
About 30 percent of United States children and teens either are victims of bullies, bullies themselves or both, according to the National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center. Bullying brings a greater risk of depression, which is the number one cause of suicide.
Types
Both physical and mental bullying have caused reported instances of suicide. In two well-publicized cases, Washington 13-year-old Jared High shot himself several months after a bully physically assaulted him, and Missouri teen Megan Meier hanged herself after cyber-bullying through social networking site MySpace, and right here in Cheyenne, 13 year old Carey Jr. High School student Alex Frye apparently committed suicide on New Year’s Day after being seriously bullied over an extended period of time.
Prevention/Solutions
Suicide.org executive director Kevin Caruso recommends that schools adopt zero-tolerance policies for bullying to prevent increasing students’ risk of suicide. Parents of bullied children should inform schools administrators of the problem and seek a therapist if their child shows signs of depression.
Misconceptions
Despite the popular theory that bullies are hiding their own insecurities, most bullies actually have high self-esteem and have little trouble making friends. Even so, some studies in the Yale compendium showed bullies have a higher risk of suicidal tendencies than other students.

SPECIAL COMMUNITY BULLYING SOLUTIONS MEETING

ALL MEMBERS OF THE LARAMIE COUNTY/CHEYENNE COMMUNITY ARE INVITED TO A VERY SPECIAL MEETING DESIGNED TO COMPILE WORKING SOLUTIONS TO THE PROBLEM OF SCHOOL BULLYING AND TEEN SUICIDE. IT WILL BE AT 6:30pm MST ON TUESDAY, JANUARY 31ST, 2012 IN THE MAIN AUDITORIUM OF FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH, 1800 EAST PERSHING BLVD IMMEDIATELY EAST OF CAREY JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL. BRING YOUR IDEAS AND SOME BE A PART OF THE SOLUTION!

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