New York, NY, June 22, 2011 --(PR.com
)-- Today STOMP Out Bullying™ announced the launch of its 24/7 Help Chat Line for kids and teens. The Help Chat Line is free and confidential for kids and teens over the age of 13. It is intended to assist those who are victims of all forms of bullying and those who may be at-risk for suicide as a result of any form of bullying, as well as bullies who can get help to change their behavior.
Here youths from 13 -24 can connect with trained volunteers who can help support them without judgments. They can log onto www.stompoutbullying.org and click the “Need Help” button and have a live chat with a volunteer counselor without having to use a phone. Volunteer counselors have completed training and been specially trained to assist kids and teens who are feeling distressed as a result of being bullied and to respond to all requests for emotional support.
The goal of the STOMP Out Bullying™ 24/7 live Help Chat Line is to help reduce the stress kids and teens are feeling as a result of being bullied and to empower them to make healthy decisions.
Ross Ellis, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of STOMP Out Bullying™ and bullying expert said “We are thrilled to be able to provide this service to our country’s youth. Knowing how many kids and teens are victims of bullying, we knew we had to create a help, resource and a referral system to help them. When we first discussed creating a help line, the costs were exorbitant. Then we realized that kids and teens live in a digital world and the best way to help them was through a chat line.”
Ellis added: “Some people think that bullying is 'just a fact of life' or 'a right of passage' and they don't take it seriously ... until someone they know is hurt by bullying – or worse – they knew someone who took their life. We cannot allow one more kid or teen to attempt or commit suicide. We have to make them understand that nothing is worth taking their lives.”
• 1 out of 4 kids is bullied
• 43% of teens, 97% of middle schoolers and 47% of older teens 18-24 cyberbullied
• 9 out of 10 LGBT students experienced harassment at school
• Some kids are so tormented that suicide has become an alternative for them
• As many as 160,000 students may stay home on any given day because they're afraid of their bullies and/or they just can't take the pain anymore.
Bullying can cause victims to experience:
• Low self-esteem
• Physical illness
• Suicidal thoughts
In 2010, 34 youths were lost to suicide and 14 have been lost so far in 2011. It has to stop. Kids have to realize that although bullying is extremely painful, they have to learn to stop the drama. The bullies cause the drama and the victims live it. Neither is good.
When asked why so many kids have committed suicide as a result of bullying, Ellis said “Suicide is a very complex behavior. These youth suicides are mostly a contagious behavior. Kids hear about others who’ve been bullied taking their lives and think that their pain will end too. Some of the suicides are a result of mental illness which being a victim of bullying only exacerbates. And teens are more impulsive about suicide than adults are. No matter what the reason, we have to make sure our youths are safe and get the appropriate help. We can’t let another youth die.”
No matter who you are, what you look like, your sexual preferences, your beliefs, we are all the same, we are all people, no matter and that means no one should ever be bullied in any way.
Ellis hopes that the Help Chat line will not only help the victims, but help the bullies understand that their behavior is wrong and that there is help for them as well.
About STOMP Out Bullying™
A national anti-bullying and cyberbullying program for kids and teens is a signature program of Love Our Children USA™. Created in 2005, it focuses on reducing and preventing bullying, cyberbullying and other digital abuse, educating against homophobia, racism and hatred, decreasing school absenteeism, and deterring violence in schools, online and in communities across the country. It includes educating kids and teens in school and online, providing help for those in need and at risk of suicide, raising awareness, peer mentoring programs in schools, public service announcements by noted celebrities, and social media campaigns. An additional focus educates parents on how to keep their children safe and responsible online.
Those who need help can visit StompoutBullying.org or call the Stomp Out Bullying hotline at 855-790-HELP.