Uniting for Anti-Bullying Day: Join Us in Our Mission to Eradicate Stigma

December 17th marks an important date on the calendar: Anti-Bullying Day. This annual event raises awareness of the prevalence and impact of bullying while also calling upon communities, schools, and individuals to take a stand against the hurtful words and actions that far too many endure. At the heart of Stigma-Free Society’s mission is a commitment to foster awareness and understanding, and to create a community where everyone feels like they belong. On this Anti-Bullying Day, we invite you to join us in our efforts to prevent bullying, learn more about its effects, and make a positive difference. We are also sharing the no-cost resources provided in our Student Mental Health Toolkit that are available to help educators reduce bullying at their schools.

Understanding the Link Between Bullying and Stigma

Bullying is not always an isolated issue; it shares a deep connection with stigma. Bullying, be it verbal, physical, or cyberbullying, often targets individuals based on perceived differences. This behaviour can fuel feelings of shame and have a severe impact on mental health, especially among young people. Stigma often contributes to bullying: when certain identities or characteristics are stigmatized, it may lead to individuals being “othered” and targeted by bullies based on these attributes. In addition to bullying prevention, we can also offer our support to people who are being bullied or stigmatized. When individuals feel safe and accepted for who they are, regardless of their differences, they’re less likely to internalize the harmful effects of stigma. This, in turn, can improve mental health and overall well-being.

How You Can Make a Difference

Although bullying is a pervasive issue, change is possible, and we can create it if we work together. On December 17th, we encourage you to join us in taking a stand against bullying by participating in local events, engaging in conversations about bullying with students or young people in your life, and emphasizing the importance of acceptance and inclusion. Encourage your friends, family, and colleagues to do the same. Together, we can create a more compassionate world where people are no longer bullied or stigmatized for any aspect of their identity.

No-Cost Anti-Bullying Resources for School Staff

Stigma-Free Society’s Student Mental Health Toolkit offers a variety of no-cost resources to educate students on mental health and stigma. If you are an educator interested in teaching your students about bullying and mental health, visit our Lesson Plans page for grades 8-12 and request access to view our lesson on Bullying in High School: The Long-Term Effects. This lesson plan contains activities that foster greater awareness of bullying and encourages inclusion in your classroom.

Students can test their knowledge and learn more about bullying through our Anti-Bullying Quiz, available in the Student Activities section of our Toolkit. Our downloadable resource, How to Be an Upstander: What to Do When You Witness Bullying, helps educators give students the tools and courage to stand up to bullying. Explore the Student Mental Health Toolkit for more resources that parents/guardians, caregivers, and educators can use to teach youth about the important topics of stigma and mental health. By addressing bullying head-on and encouraging the next generation to do the same, we can pave the way for a brighter future.

By: Monique Zizzo

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