When kids are singled out and bullied, it sets the stage for social isolation and feelings of worthlessness. With the digital age, bullying is no longer limited to the school halls and playground.
Through social media sites, users can share humiliating posts, pictures or videos with their entire school with the click of a button.“We’ve seen story after story of young people who havetaken their own lives after being relentlessly bullied,” says Boesky. “In person, bullying is brutal enough, but withcyberbullying, it’s kind of 24/7.”Boesky recommends periodically monitoring your children’ssocial networking sites tokeep them safe on-line.Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth are prime targets for harassmentand bullying, according to Victoria Wagner, executive director of Youth Suicide Prevention Program in Washington state. Rejection from their peers, family and faithcommunity put them at higher risk of depression and suicide than their straight peers.
Anumber of studies have shown that high school students w ho are lesbian, gay or unsure of their sexual orientation are two to three times more likely to attempt suicide than theirheterosexual peers.One of the biggest protective factors for LGBT is being accepted and supported by family and friends. Those who experienced severe rejection from their family are more thaneight times more likely to report attempting suicide, compared with peers whoexperienced little or no rejection.Another population at increased risk for suicide is Alaskan natives and American Indians ages 15 to 24. Their suicide rate is 2.5 times higher than the national average for young adults. Wagner says substance abuse, isolation on the reservation and limited resources all contribute to the higher risk.