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From school shootings to highly publicized suicides among young people—like that of Massachusetts teen Phoebe Prince—bullying has been at the center of some of the most tragic (and transformative) news stories of the past decade. In 2001, the American Medical Association officially declared bullying a public health problem; and in Massachusetts, all school districts are now required to have a plan in place to address bullying incidents.
The issue has become so heated that even the President and First Lady have taken a stand: In March 2011, the Obamas joined the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services in hosting an unprecedented conference on bullying prevention.
Rather than the “no big deal” rite of passage it was once regarded as, educators, clinicians and parents have come to recognize bullying for what it really is—a serious societal issue that can have severe, long-lasting consequences for victims and perpetrators alike.
Bullying is any kind of physical or verbal abuse that:
Types of bullying include:
But there is good news, and cause for hope: The current focus on identifying, addressing and preventing bullying means that children who are being victimized—or are bullies themselves—have new options for getting help.
How Boston Children’s Hospital Boston approaches bullying
Boston Children’s Department of Psychiatry has long been at the forefront of providing expert, compassionate care to children and adolescents who are struggling with mental health issues, including depression and anxiety related to bullying.
As one of the largest pediatric psychiatric services in New England, Boston Children’s has a team of expert psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers ready to help your child cope with bullying. We’ll work closely with her—and with you and your family—to:
And in addition to the mental health care we deliver in the hospital setting, our Children’s Hospital Neighborhood Partnerships provides a range of services to children at 15 Boston-area schools and five community health centers.
Tackling bullying from another, equally important perspective, Boston Children’s has also launched BACPAC (Bullying And Cyberbullying Prevention & Advocacy Collaborative)—the first multidisciplinary anti-bullying collaborative based at a U.S. pediatric hospital. BACPAC:
includes Boston Children’s experts from the Departments of Neurology and Psychiatry; the Divisions of Adolescent Medicine and Developmental Medicine; the Boston Children’s Hospital Primary Care Center; and the Center on Media and Child Health
is an associate of the Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center (MARC), a nationally noted authority on bullying and cyberbullying
serves as a central information resource for healthcare providers, families and schools about identifying, addressing and stopping bullying behavior
operates a clinic for children and adolescents with neurodevelopmental disorders (including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), learning disabilities and autism spectrum disorders) who are being bullied, or are involved in bullying others
conducts cutting-edge scientific research to develop best practices for bullying intervention and prevention
Bullying: Reviewed by Peter Raffalli, MD, and Shella Dennery, PhD, LICSW
© Boston Children’s Hospital; posted in 2011
The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”