How Bullying Impacts Mental Health
May 1, 2012
AVON, Conn. – May 1, 2012 – Every day, nearly 160,000 students skip school because they fear being bullied. Two out of three students have witnessed a bullying incident, and a quarter of students have been bullied themselves. The ubiquity of mobile texting and social media has allowed bullying to expand beyond the playground; more than half of youth admit to saying something mean or hurtful online. These bullying incidents all can lead to significant mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, substance abuse and, in the most tragic cases, suicide.
May is National Mental Health Awareness Month and Magellan Health Services is calling attention to mental health and bullying for its second annual Take Mental Health To Heart campaign. Magellan has partnered with The Jed Foundation, the nation’s leading organization working to promote emotional health and prevent suicide among college students and young adults, to raise awareness about the mental health effects of bullying and encourage people to take responsibility for building a bully-free community. Throughout the month, Magellan and The Jed Foundation will share information about bullying from the perspective of the victim, the bully, parents and bystanders.
“Bullying cannot be tolerated anywhere, whether on the playground or at the office, nor should it be taken lightly when it occurs,” said René Lerer, chairman and CEO of Magellan Health Services. “In our work with behavioral health specialists and youth everyday, we see the harmful impact bullying can have, yet it is 100 percent preventable. The ‘cure’ to bullying is establishing an expectation of respect and understanding in our own environment, and we’re hopeful that our work on Take Mental Health To Heart with The Jed Foundation will demonstrate that we all have a responsibility to stop bullying in our respective communities.”
“Bullying is everyone’s problem. Our words and our actions – no matter how small – are powerful, and we need to work together in our communities to use those words and actions to show support, appreciation and respect, rather than to cause others harm,” said John MacPhee, executive director of The Jed Foundation. “Promoting mental and emotional wellness is an important part of The Jed Foundation’s mission, and we’re delighted to be partnering with Magellan to call attention to the devastating effects of bullying and how they can be prevented.”
“Planting the Seed” to Stop Bullying
On www.TakeMentalHealthToHeart.com, visitors can learn more about how bullying impacts the victim, bystanders and the bully; find helpful information for parents; take a screener for depression; and discover a variety of other links and resources. Visitors are also encouraged to leave a comment by “planting a virtual seed” on the website that they can share with friends and family to raise awareness about the impact of bullying. As individuals share their pledge to end bullying with others, their virtual seed will grow into a “tree” representing the expansive network of people they have reached with their message. For every virtual seed planted during the month of May, Magellan will donate $5 to The Jed Foundation, up to $25,000.
“In an age where the Internet and social media are too often used to engage in destructive cyberbullying, we’re offering people an interactive way to use their social networks to combat bullying and support an important cause,” said Lerer.
To learn more about bullying and the Take Mental Health To Heart Campaign, visit www.TakeMentalHealthToHeart.com.
About Magellan Health Services: Headquartered in Avon, Conn., Magellan Health Services Inc. is a leading specialty health care management organization with expertise in managing behavioral health, radiology and specialty pharmaceuticals, as well as public sector pharmacy benefits programs. Magellan delivers innovative solutions to improve quality outcomes and optimize the cost of care for those we serve. As of March 31, 2012, Magellan’s customers include health plans, employers and government agencies, serving approximately 33.8 million members in our behavioral health business, 16.1 million members in our radiology benefits management segment, and 6.2 million members in our medical pharmacy management product. In addition, the specialty pharmaceutical segment served 41 health plans and several pharmaceutical manufacturers and state Medicaid programs. The company’s Medicaid Administration segment served 24 states and the District of Columbia. For more information, visit www.MagellanHealth.com.
Magellan Health Services Media Contact:
Chris Pearsall, email@example.com, (860) 507-1923
The Jed Foundation Media Contacts:
Brian Downey or Jason Solomon
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, (212) 355-0400