Health Watch - Bullying: Suicide

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


This week on Health Watch, we’ve been talking about bullying. Bullying has made the news lately because of a number of children who have committed suicide after being bullied. There’s even a new term for it: bullycide. But that term may oversimplify a complicated and serious situation.

When a child or teen commits suicide, there are usually multiple factors involved. Dr. Betsy Kennard, a psychologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says teenagers or children who are depressed, stressed or withdrawing or having relationship issues may be more tempted by thoughts of suicide if they are also being bullied. That’s why it’s important to talk to kids if you suspect it’s happening. It’s also okay to ask about thoughts of suicide. Discussing feelings with a supportive adult can help the child. If the child is having suicidal thoughts, seek professional help. Suicide is often linked to depression, which can be treated.     

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August 2010


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