October is celebrated globally as Bullying Prevention Month. This month acts as a time to come together to face the threat of bullying. It is a time where we advocate for the prevention of bullying and support each other in coming up with strategies to help eradicate this social ill. Bullying Prevention Month is particularly important for us at the Silver Lining Foundation (SLF) as it serves as a reminder of the reason for our existence – to serve as a guardian body for marginalised LGBTQ youth who are or have been victims of bullying, seeking to prevent suicide and discrimination.
This year marks the 11th anniversary of the inception of the Bullying Prevention Month campaign. Since the beginning, many schools, communities, organisations and individuals globally converge to raise awareness for bullying prevention by way of campaigns, resources and different bullying prevention strategies. These institutions have expanded the month to involve education and awareness activities on bullying and strategies, recognising that there is a definite need for people to be more aware of the serious consequences of bullying.
At SLF, we are firm believers in tackling the issue of bullying head on. How can we encourage bullying prevention? Steps that we believe should be taken in developing bullying prevention strategies include:
- Educate: familiarise yourself with aspects of bullying. Define the term “bully” and identify bullying behaviours – both on the part of the bully and the bullied. Learn how to deal with bullying behaviours.
- Empathise: understand the causes of bullying and develop the skills to prevent and/or intervene bullying when it occurs.
- Encourage: develop safe spaces, environments conducive to open and honest discussions about issues that can be difficult to either understand or address.
- Eradicate: use the tools you have learned to eliminate the problem of bullying.
On October 2nd, we invite you to join us as we partner with our friends over at Stomp Out Bullying to celebrate the World Day of Bullying Prevention, which they’ve dubbed “Blue Shirt Day”, by wearing a blue shirt. Wearing a blue shirt signifies a recognition of the need to stop bullying and to make a difference in someone’s life. Help us to change the culture to one that welcomes inclusion, celebrates diversity and embraces equality.
Share your photos and stories with us! Tag us on Facebook and Twitter (@SLFTT) and on Instagram (@silverliningtt) and tell us what you’re doing to prevent bullying in your community by using the hashtags #StopBullying, #SLFtt and #MakeBullyingHistory.
Bullying is a real and enormous problem; we must all do our part to stop it.