Heard on Olympic & Bundy - Many kids now have smartphones and are on social media, including elementary age children.
The difference between "old school bullying" and our current culture of connectedness is that it can be a 24/7 problem. You can no longer go home to get away from people at school -- it follows you home.
Approximately 43 percent of kids say they have been victim to cyberbullying, according to stopbullying.gov, and 58 percent of them have not told their parents.
Jamie Weddle is a school counselor at Beverly Vista School and El Rodeo School, working with kids age K-8. Mandy Amano works with the Matthew Silverman Memorial Foundation (MSMF), which is dedicated to stopping student suicide through school-based mental health programs.
MSMF was started by Ron Silverman after losing his child, Matt, to suicide at age 18 -- and wants to ensure that no other child or family suffers through this pain.
Jamie and Mandy joined me on Olympic & Bundy to discuss student bullying, mental health and suicide prevention.
Some of these topics can be emotionally difficult to talk about, but one thing that I took away from the conversation is that, as Silverman says, "we can only fix what we can talk about."
Our conversation covered many subjects, including:
-Recent bullying stories in the news, including 13-year-old Rosalie Avlia.
-Jamie's background and what influenced him to become a school counselor.
-Old school bullying versus bullying in today's world with social media.
-Understanding the difference between teasing, mean bullying and conflict.
-How parents can potentially recognize cyberbullying.
-Mandy's background and what led her to the MSMF.
-Why the foundation has such a long waiting list for its school mental health programs.
-California's new law AB 2246 that mandates suicide policies and prevention programs for schools.
-What these programs entail and how they can help students, teachers, administrators and more.
-Teen suicide by the numbers.
-Cultural factors influencing mental health and attitudes toward mental illness.
-How the national conversation around teen suicide is changing with Netflix's "13 Reasons Why" and Logic's chart-topping song 1-800-273-8255.
If you experience suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1 (800) 273-8255 or text the Crisis Text Line at 741-741.
If you or someone you know needs to just talk to someone for support, perhaps another teen who understands, text "TEEN" to 839863 between 6 and 9 p.m. PST to speak with someone -- or call Teen Line at (310) 855-HOPE or (800) TLC-TEEN (nationwide toll-free) from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. PST.
If would like to make a donation in support of the Matthew Silverman Memorial Foundation and its work to prevent teen suicide, click here.