Bullying is a complex problem that can profoundly impact emotional health. It can be physical, verbal, or online, and it can show up differently each time. We can help by refraining from behaviors that may bully or harm others on our platforms, helping our followers feel less alone, and sharing guidance on speaking out and getting help.

Need to Know

One in five young people will experience bullying, most often in the form of verbal insults, name-calling, or being the subject of rumors or lies.

Bullying is a serious issue that can lead to significant emotional distress, anxiety, and depression.

People who experience bullying may have feelings of fear, sadness, loneliness, and vulnerability. In some cases, bullying is considered trauma.

Cyberbullying includes posting rumors, pretending to be someone else, keeping tabs on someone, doxxing, and sexual harassment, including sending unwanted explicit messages or images.

Warning signs of distress related to bullying include sadness, isolation, changes in social media behavior, and hopelessness.

People who bully others are at increased risk for mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety.

Things to Avoid

Avoid sharing graphic or triggering details of bullying incidents that could upset or re-traumatize your audience.

Do not name or shame the individuals involved in bullying — whether they are the perpetrators or victims — to prevent further harm or escalation.

Resist simplifying bullying as something that people can easily get over or handle on their own without help.

Refrain from making assumptions about anyone’s mental state based on their experiences with bullying.

Avoid depicting bullying as the sole or primary cause of someone’s challenges or suicidal thoughts. The factors contributing to distress or suicide are complex and rarely stem from a single source.

Your Opportunity

Share empowering stories of help-seeking, overcoming bullying, and support from family, friends, and trained professionals.

Emphasize the importance of kindness, empathy, and community support in combating bullying.

Reinforce to your audience that bullying and insults are not about the individual they target, but often reflect the insecurities and struggles of the bullies themselves.

Offer resources and guidance for individuals experiencing bullying, including how to report it and where to find help.

Encourage your audience to foster inclusive and respectful environments where bullying is not tolerated.


The Jed Foundation →

Visit the JED Mental Health Resource Center to learn more about bullying and ways to get help.

stopbullying.gov →

Get info and resources on stopbullying.gov

Dial 988 Hotline →

Dial 988 for a free conversation with a trained counselor 24/7.

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