KnowBullying, a free smartphone app created by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, provides parents, caretakers, educators and others with information and communication support to help prevent bullying and build resilience in children.
The app is designed to address the various needs of children according to age. Developed in collaboration with the StopBullying.gov federal partnership, KnowBullying is available for iPhone® and Android™ smartphones. The app can be downloaded at the Apple App Store and Google Play.
“The KnowBullying app empowers parents and caregivers by placing resources they need right in their hands to help prevent bullying,” said Paolo del Vecchio, director of SAMHSA’s Center for Mental Health Services. “This needs to be part of a community-wide effort to help protect our children from the unnecessary harm, and in some cases, devastating long-term consequences of bullying.”
Almost one-fifth of all students in grades nine to 12 have been bullied on school property. Almost 15 per-cent of students in these grades have experienced cyberbullying, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System. Bullying has serious consequences with long-term impact on mental health, substance use,
violence, criminal convictions, and suicidal ideation.
Research shows that as little as 15 minutes a day of focused conversation with a child about issues related to bullying can help build self-esteem and prevent bullying. These discussions can strengthen relationships and promote a feeling of connectedness, helping children develop effective strategies for facing bullying – whether children are being bullied, engaging in bullying or witnessing bullying.
The app is a helpful resource and reminder for parents and caregivers to start a conversation that their kids will remember when it counts. It also reminds children that they can go to their parents if they have a problem.
StopBullying.gov, a federal government website managed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, provides information from various government agencies on what bullying is, what cyberbullying is, who is at risk, and how you can prevent and respond to bullying. For more in-formation, visit www.stopbullying.gov.