Prevent Bullying; Practice Kindness
In recognition of October as national Bullying Prevention Month, County Council presented a resolution to members of the county’s Behavioral Health team and members of MY LIFE, a youth empowerment group that is holding an anti-bullying event at 6 p.m. Oct. 11 at the Eastern Delaware County YMCA in Lansdowne. Shown at the Sept. 28 Council meeting are, from left, Shawn Carroll, Certified Peer Specialist with Magellan Behavioral Health, Christina Gordon, children’s mental health caseworker, Daniel Taber, MY LIFE founding member, Councilman Dave White, Behavioral Health staff Shannon Thomas and Jeanne Ewing and, back row, Council members Mike Culp, Chairman Mario Civera Jr., Vice Chair Colleen Morrone and Councilman John McBlain.
Promote kindness, acceptance and inclusion during
national Bullying Prevention Month
County Council declared October as Bullying Prevention Month in Delaware County, which is a call to action for teachers, parents, students and everyone in the community to promote kindness, acceptance and inclusion. Council also invited youth who face challenges involving bullying, mental health or substance abuse to join the youth empowerment group MY LIFE.
“Every day, children and young people are being bullied in schools, on buses and over their cell phones. As a parent, this issue hits home,” said County Councilman Dave White. “It’s not acceptable for any child, in the classroom, on the playground or online, to feel afraid, to be abused or bullied.”
This month is national Bullying Prevention Month, White explained. The nationwide campaign to fight bullying was started ten years ago, in 2006, by PACER’s, a national bullying prevention center. They stress that bullying is not a rite of passage or a normal part of childhood. They estimate that nearly one-third of school-aged children are bullied each year.
Research shows that victims of bullying are more likely to acquire physical, emotional and mental health problems that can last a lifetime. In addition, children who bully are at a greater risk of engaging in more serious violent behaviors.
“Today, we join the campaign to stop bullying,” White said. “Our Department of Human Services, Office of Behavioral Health, works with many community partners to raise awareness. One group that stands out is MY LIFE, which stands for Magellan Youth Leaders Inspiring Future Empowerment.”
MY LIFE members are young people, ages 13 to 23, who have experience with a mental health, substance abuse or foster care-related issue. Or perhaps they have a friend or family member experiencing those issues. This is a national organization.
In Delaware County, MY LIFE meets the second Tuesday of each month at the Community YMCA of Eastern Delaware County in Lansdowne. The members come together to make friends, find support, build confidence and learn leadership skills. The goal is for the young people who have faced their own challenges to use their experiences to help others and improve the various systems that serve young people.
MY LIFE will hold an anti-bullying event at 6 p.m. Oct. 11 at the Y. They will be handing out educational and supportive materials including buttons that say “Together Against Bullying.”
“We commend the MY LIFE members for this civic activity and we welcome them to today’s meeting,” White said. Council presented a resolution for Bullying Prevention Month to: Shannon Fitzpatrick Thomas, Jeanne Ewing and Christina Gordon from the county Office of Behavioral Health, Shawn Carroll, Certified Peer Specialist with Magellan Behavioral Health, and Daniel Taber, a founding member of Delaware County MY LIFE.