Be a buddy, not a bully

Bullying, according to the American Psychological Association (APA, 2014) is a form of aggressive behavior in which someone intentionally and repeatedly causes another person injury or discomfort. Bullying can take the form of physical contact, words or more subtle actions. The bullied individual typically has trouble defending him or herself and does nothing to “cause” the bullying.

Bullying is seldom considered a causative factor in various mental illnesses. However, it is imperative to identify it as a possible threat to a person’s self-esteem which allows a person to use defense mechanism, ineffective coping mechanisms. With the passage of the Anti-Bullying Act, there has been a huge clamor for stricter implementation of policies, both in school and workplace, which protect constituents from the detrimental effects of bullying.

Putting the advocacy in a higher level, various groups from different sectors have stepped up the campaign against bullying by initiating events that aim to raise awareness and empower proactive pupils and students in a community- and school-based approach.

Most people think mental health promotion applies to everyone, but there are those who feel it should focus only on the “well” population. Sometimes, mental health promotion can seem to mean so many things that it does not mean anything at all (Secker, 1998). Mental health promotion, as defined by the Centre for Health Promotion (1997), is the process of enhancing the capacity of individuals and communities to take control over their lives and improve their mental health. Mental health promotion aims to enhance control and resiliency. It uses strategies that foster supportive environments and individual resilience, while showing respect for equity, social justice, interconnections and personal dignity. Mental health promotion addresses issues that affect everyone and attempts to increase the people’s ability to deal with life’s challenges.

School is seen as an important context for health promotion principally because it reaches a large proportion of the population. The emphasis on schools is also a recognition that the learning of health-related knowledge, attitudes, and behavior begins at an early age.

I seek to propose an annual Anti-Bullying week in schools and work places.

This event seeks to fulfill the following objectives:

  • To promote bullying as a youth issue, as a community issue
  • To empower students and other participants with knowledge and skills in exercising assertiveness when dealing with bullying
  • To enable collaboration and active participation among stakeholders especially in issues concerning bullying, violence, violation of human rights, among others

Be a buddy, not a bully.

[draft]

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