The teacher provides resources for bullying prevention

BUFFALO, NY – The constant stressors of being attacked emotionally, physically or verbally can be so overwhelming for children returning to school, but experts say there are some things you can do to support your children.

1 in 5 children are bullied and children who are bullied are at increased risk of emotional distress and researchers find that bullying is changing.

Ten years ago, eight percent of children said they had been cyberbullied. compare that to 16% in 2021.

Amanda Nickerson, a University at Buffalo professor and researcher for the Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention, says communicating with your child and being their advocate in difficult times is the most important thing.

“All school staff are trained on how to handle reports of bullying and take it very seriously and work with the child and family on how to make a difference. We don’t want people to suffer alone we want them to reach out,” Nickerson said.

In New York State, there is the “Dignity for All Students Act” which protects students from bullying and discrimination.

Students who are bullied can contact their school’s Dignity Act coordinator for help.

List of Resources available in Western New York:

  • BestSelf Behavioral Health: provides counseling and treatment services for parents, children, families and adolescents, you can call 716-884-0888.
  • Crisis Services Hotline: You can call 24/7 at 716-834-3131 or the Kids Help Line at 716-834-1144, or 1-877-KIDS-400.
  • Catholic charities: provides emergency assistance, counseling, behavioral health, youth education, and more, you can call 716-856-4494
  • Child and Family Services: provides counselling, community services, career support, education, mediation and prevention for children, families and individuals or call 716-842-2750.
  • Erie County Council for the Prevention of Alcohol and Substance Abuse: provides education, programs and services to individuals and families on alcohol and drug abuse prevention and intervention or call 716-831-2298.
  • Each person influences children: provides parents, teachers, and other educators with resources and programs on parenting support, family literacy, character development in children, building homeschool partnerships, and community engagement family in education or call 1-888-819-EPIC (1-888-819-3742) or 716-332-4100.
  • family support center: connects residents to human resource agencies and community resources to improve student achievement and behavior in school or call 716-892-2172.
  • Growing Support for LGBTQ+ Youth (GLYS) Western New York, Inc.: Offers a variety of opportunities, resources and services for LGBTQ+ youth and their friends, ages 5-21, or call 716-855-0221.
  • Erie County Mental Health Association: provides support and advocacy for individuals and families living with mental illness or call 716-886-1242. For people under 18, call 716-882-4357 or text MHA at 741-741.
  • Focus on Prevention / Focus on Teens: offers proven programs and strategies to address behavioral issues and promote healthy choices for parents and children, you can call 716-884-3256.

To learn more about Nickerson’s research, you can visit the Alberti Center website website.

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