Posted in Bullying

Wednesday Pink Shirt Day

pink shirt day

Please remember to wear your PINK tomorrow in support of Anti Bullying!        

 

Where it all started:

Two senior high school students organized a protest in support of a Grade 9 student at their Nova Scotia high school in 2007.

The boy was targeted by students and bullied because he was wearing a pink polo shirt to school. The two young men heard about the attack and bought 75 pink tank tops at a thrift store and told classmates they were going to hand them out the next day. Word of the plan spread quickly and hundreds of fellow students showed up wearing pink the next day, some head to toe.

That action was the first Pink Shirt Day. Today, millions around the world participate each year in pink days to stand up and speak out against bullying in schools, workplaces and communities.

 

 

Posted in Chronic Pain

When pain creeps in…

PE.Harrell-Sanders_DoYouSee

July 26th, 2013 by Dana Harrell-Sanders

Chronic Pain is probably one of the most debilitating reasons for absenteeism at work along with Mental/Emotional pain.  It is probably even more painful because of the …you guessed it…the Stigma attached to it. If you don’t see it, it ain’t broke. Well, something like that.

I wrote a poem at CherShares  under the influence, however, and when looking for a nice image to relate to my words, I found this amazing website. The National Pain Foundation has really great information as well as testimonials from people suffering chronic pain. What attracted me was the image I added to my poem and decided to share it here too…see above.

By the way, when I say I wrote this poem under the influence, I meant under the influence of extreme pain. I am at work so no way would I be taking anything and nothing works anyway.  Well, if you are talking about a hot tub and a private massage therapist every day…well, heck, yeah! that might ease the pain somewhat, but I digress.   I wrote this poem because last night I wrote a very dark gothic genre poem on another blog I have.  I happened to write about pain and giving up.  Well, of course I have no intention of leaving this planet…I have way too many things to do and still aren’t quite sure what I want to be when I grow up…writer, politician, poet, start up several tiny support groups for those suffering from mental health and for their friends and family in the Montéregie area  for the English speaking population and oh! I want to learn to draw, paint, photo-shop…so you see I have too much to do to give …yet.  Oh, and that last part is because English speaking people outside of Montreal don`t always have access to certain services in mental health.

Anyway, I wrote this poem while not in any majour pain, just the regular stuff;  but this morning I woke up with excruciating back pain and man oh man, it was almost like it was a payback for whining and complaining in my dark poem last night. I know and you know that is not possible but that is why I wrote that poem.  I also find that when I am in pain (migraine, neck, back etc.) or even feeling emotional drained or sad, I write the darnest things…my muse seems to be a bit of a sadist I dare say.

Check out this website The National Pain Foundation. You can subscribe to their newsletters as well.  They say it so much better than I do and the links are pretty interesting too. I love that the artists are people suffering from chronic pain because you can really see what they are feeling.

© Cheryl-Lynn, 2014/02/10

Posted in Did you know?, Stigma Talks

Let’s Talk about mental health

Photo: Cheryl-Lynn Roberts - Bromont, Qc. My wishing well, wishing for more openness about Mental Health.
Photo: Cheryl-Lynn Roberts – Bromont, Qc.
My wishing well, wishing for more openness about Mental Health.

It is that time of the year again. Remember last February the campaign to try and break barriers on mental health?  You know, there were ads on television, Facebook and Twitter as well promoting that day where the motto went like: Bell Let’s Talk and in French Cause pour la Cause.  Well, this year it is January 28th. On January 28, Bell Let’s Talk…

 

“Bell will donate 5¢ more to mental health initiatives for every:

Text message sent

Long-distance call made*

Tweet using #BellLetsTalk

Facebook share of our Bell Let’s Talk image”

 

One in five Canadians will be confronted with a mental health condition and too often, very few, will actually seek help.  It is bad enough to suffer from the pain of a mental illness and not get help.  There are treatments and there IS recovery!  Why don’t people seek help?  Unfortunately, many fear they will be judged because of the stigma associated with mental illness.  Mental health is as important as physical health.  Bell Let’s Talk is an initiative to help break down the barriers of this negative stigma…label.

Did you know that Mental Illness is the most widespread health issue in the country?  Some people are embarrassed to admit they may be suffering from a mental illness and they wait and wait and suffer and wait some more.  Did you know that the shorter the wait, the treatment is shorter? The longer you wait, the longer the recovery?  The problem is that so many people do not want to publicly admit they may have suffered from a mental illness. If more people TALK about it, more will get help.

I personally suffered a burnout many years ago…that’s a nice word that covered the real issue…situational depression.  Did I tell many people about it then? Nope!  I was afraid to be judged and have people point their finger at me, “Oh, she’s has major issues!”  or felt ashamed as not being strong enough to cope. Had I known at the time, it’s okay, and that talking about it actually may encourage someone else to get help, I may have been less inclined to hide it.  I remember a co-worker at the time telling me she felt relieved to see that I was not super-woman and that I had ups and downs like everyone else.  You see, my trying to appear as super-woman, only discouraged her rather than have her admire me.  Go figure, eh?  I got closer to several people after that difficult time in my life. I also learned a lot about myself and learned how to cope during difficult times.  I also know the signs so if it came up again, I knew to get help.  Just think about your physical health for a moment.  If you are sneezing a lot, start feeling a bit sluggish, you know that those are the signs of a cold. You may rest a bit more and if the symptoms get worse or last a longer time, you will probably go see your doctor, right?  Why not do the same thing when you feel emotionally down for weeks at a time?

The way my illness peaked was my body was affected. I woke up one morning and my back just went out. I had so much pain, I could not go to work. I later discovered I was overtired and I had been burning the candle at both ends keeping busy trying to “avoid” facing my internal cries.  I saw my family doctor who put me on medication for a year and saw a therapist for about 4 months.  I came out a different person and the experience was humbling. More friends and colleagues felt comfortable talking to me about some of their personal struggles.  I appeared for once, “normal” because I had ups and downs like everyone else and I learned to manage them better. I did not have to feel like a failure or put a label that I was weak…I was a normal human being who had encountered some mental health issues that needed to be addressed.  Just as physical health needs to be monitored so does mental health.

You need to exercise to stay healthy.  Well, guess what? Physical exercise also boosts your mental health. It releases tiny chemicals in your brain {neurotransmitters} that make you feel happier…endorphins…I call it the exercise to produce the natural happy drug.  Try walking or jogging just for 15 minutes and notice your mood change slightly. Cool huh?  Yoga is a great form of exercise that has actually proven to improve physical and mental health.

Any kind of sport is great but not everyone has that ability or opportunity…so walk, jog, swim, cycle, dance, put in those ear buds and dance to music. I work late hours and walk home after 11pm. most nights. I have to cross a huge Mall’s parking lot to get to my home. So I often sway my hips and move my feet a bit to the music and use that parking lot as my giant dance floor.  It may seem silly but most people are asleep by the time I’m on my way home, so I just move to the groove {yep, I’m that old, so I can use those expressions}.

Walking, music, dancing, cooking, reading and writing are my therapies. What do you like to do? Oh, I forgot, I love to sketch and colour. Granted I am not a great artist but it feels good and it is actually using a part of my brain I don’t use much, so it is really calming.

Working on a help line for youths, I hear lots of teens and young adults call in saying they don’t want to tell their friends or family they are struggling emotionally because they don’t want to worry them. I’m really relieved they feel comfortable to reach out to our anonymous helpline. There are helplines for adults as well and so many places to get help.  In many provinces across the country if you dial 211, you may be able to reach an agency that can look up community resources for you.  In many provinces including Quebec you can dial 811 to get a tele-health line that sometimes also have resources to direct you to mental health supports.  At the front of your phone book there are emergency numbers and often a distress line is included.  In the next few weeks, I will be updating my page RESOURCES and if you have any resources you feel should go up there, please comment here or send me an email at cheryllynnroberts.ca@gmail.com.

Remember that date now, January 28th, 2014 Let’s Talk – Cause pour la Cause.

© Cheryl-Lynn Roberts, January 7, 2014

Posted in Bullying, Re-blogs

Rondeau Redoublé

Is our society so shallow…sick that we prefer victims? Read this excellent poem on Cyberbullies

Bastet and Sekhmet's Library

Rondeau Redouble

Cyberbullies

Seems we prefer victims once they are dead.
Easier to sit back than take up a cause,
Silently watching we aide and abed,
Laughing with bullies we sharpen their claws!

So used to cruelty it gives us no pause,
Meek are the victims and carefully bred
We love martyrs I think this because,
Seems we prefer victims once they are dead.

Maybe it’s fear we’ve grown in our head.
We won’t defend victims from bully outlaws.
Better be quiet you see we’re well-bred.
Easier to sit back than take up a cause.

A victim the tough guy chews in his maws.
The silly chicken or the gross dead-head,
Ridiculing, hurting seeking guffaws…
Silently watching we aide and abed.

He’s funny baiting the nerdy egghead,
Such a great show, he deserves your hurrahs!
Tomorrow maybe you’ll be the knucklehead…
Laughing with bullies we sharpen their claws!

Taught you’d…

View original post 47 more words

Posted in Bullying

Are You a Cyberbully?

A good read on the cruelty of cyber bullies…

Reowr

Bullies, bullies everywhere,
No longer just a school affair
For into cyberspace they’ve gone,
Their faces hidden with a yawn
While posting pictures of someone
To laugh at just because it’s fun,
Or texting messages all day
With words that they would never say,
Not caring if it’s wrong or right,
Though most would run from a REAL fight –
Because they can, because you laugh,
Because you “like” on their behalf,
Because it’s cool and not just mean
When done from a cowardly screen,
While someone cries and drowns in pain,
You “like” and “share” again, again.  Copyright 2013 © Sonya Annita Song

For Tracesofthesoul: Cyberbullying Campaign.

View original post

Posted in Bullying

Release Me

Release Me is a raw and sad reality of cyberbullying…

Shainbird

Release me past morning breath and across divides,
Release me where struggle, spin and a sell subsides.
Release me among the smog, cleansing souls of black,
Release me to whitewashed rooms to dispel attack.
Release me before bread, I’ll bring you to your knees,
Release me for eyes wetter than reverent, endless seas.
Release me to a friend and let me be theirs to be,
Release me into the skin of a long held enemy.
Release me like a yellow balloon into moody skies,
Release me so cruelty from ill word and action dies.
Release me in adults for inner children do laugh loud,
Release me and keep me not in a deathly shroud.
Release me upon this world like seeds angels sow,
Release me now, long before the final horn will blow.

Copyright © 2013 Shainbird. All rights reserved.

Note: This post serves to fulfill two prompts. The poem…

View original post 49 more words

Posted in Bullying

Cyberbullying

young teen thinking of problems SILOUETTECyberbullying

Bullying is certainly most youths’ nightmares at some point in their lives. Usually the bullying stops when you are in the privacy of your home. The problem with Cyberbullying is that it NEVER turns off…EVER!

Cyberbullying is repeated aggression using electronic devices such as computers, cell phones and tablets. I was checking on Sick Kids’ website in Toronto and was shocked to see these stats. This article was dated 2011 so it has mostly likely increased since then!

These are stats for 8 to 11 year olds {I still cannot believe this…shocking!}
– 18% use social networking sites such as Facebook despite meeting age requirements!
– 58% communicate through internet or cell phone and 31% have their own cell phone!
– 28% of those who own a phone send and receive texts and 21% have internet on their phone
– By age 11, children text an average of 80 minutes a day!

Cyberbullying is upsetting because it is so invasive filtering in the homes of youths and young adults.
50% of victims do not even know who their aggressors are. Lots of youths remain silent for fear of having their personal electronics removed!

Parental monitoring does not help
Children may be too savvy for parents because monitoring apparently shows little results according to Burr J. Correlates of electronic aggression in elementary school students. Montreal 2011
Open communication is key to protect against cyberbullying. So talk about it! Not just one sit down discussion about it but ongoing communication…open dialogues!

Cyberbullying is powerful because the person bullying is able to hide behind a monitor, smart phone or tablet and most times he/she can get away with it. Things get blown out of proportion pretty quickly too. We call that viral…you know when you see a comment along with a photo about someone on Facebook for example and someone clicks “like”…worse yet, others “share” that status and it has gone viral within minutes!

Bystanders/witnesses ARE guilty too! If you clicked “like” or “share” on an insulting comment on someone’s Facebook page, you are saying you agree with the “bully”. Yep, just as guilty.
You get an email with a compromising photo of a classmate. Your hand goes to your gaping mouth and seconds later you have forwarded to 10 of your buddies. You have just implicated yourself as being connected with this “bully”.

You get a text message of a friend who is at a party and took a few shots of peers in embarrassing positions that make them look worse than what really was going on at that party. DON’T you dare press FORWARD…ah, geez, you did…too late…you are now part of a team of “bullies” who have made the life of a young girl miserable…so much so that she is suffering depression and has suicidal thoughts. Now you hear about this girl has quit school or moved to another town and you think to yourself, “Gee, we were just clowning around.!” Oh, yeah? Think again!

What can adults do to help? Well, for starters, parents may give their children some guidelines on etiquette; consequences of spreading rumours is 1,000,000,000 times worse than word of mouth. Teachers may include in their language arts classes, etiquette on the internet {gee that rhymes!}
It would be great if some of these tips were offered in an interactive way and made to have some fun. If youths interact with new information, chances are they will retain.

There are laws now regarding to Cyber bullying and don’t kid yourself, the police CAN trace who is the bully…so watch out! Oh, and no need to say it is a free world and you have freedom of speech. Once you have denigrated, shamed, humiliated and hurt another person and their reputation…all that goes out the window and in the huge garbage bin. GET IT!?? Sorry if I seem a bit snarky. I hear too often from youths who suffer at the hands of those “cruel” digits clicking on their cell phones, tablet or computers way too many times in any given week…really!

It breaks my heart and frustrates me to no end to get a phone call from a youth that is devastated by some kid who decided it would be cool and fun to put up a web page and have their peers comment on one that youth. How cruel is that? How can that be fun? I don’t care if you say, “I didn’t know it would go that far.” IT DID go too far!

The media talks about way tragic losses through suicides…youths have taken their lives due to the persecution of cyberbullying. I spoke with a mom in June whose daughter did take her life due to bullying. It broke my heart. I feel so powerless when a youth calls…I wish I could do more. When they hang up, I worry that kid may not pull through. I cannot even fathom how a parent must feel having to experience such a tragic loss. Can you?

The media is covering this topic more and more lately. Is it because they care? Well, let’s be frank now, tragedy sells papers. That sickens me, yes, but good reporters, I believe, have a moral responsibility to inform the public…we do need to be aware of the dangers of this to prevent it from happening over and over. More importantly as parents and responsible adults don’t we want to protect our children?

Social networks do have means to help curb or even stop cyberbullying from propagating. Many youths who say they keep seeing negative comments on their statuses, I usually tell them to report! It is getting even easier now I noticed on Facebook this week, you can obviously “unfriend” a person by going on their FB page, click “message” at the top right hand side and a menu drops down and click “unfriend” BUT, on this same menu, just above “unfriend” is “Report/block” and THAT is where you can so easily report the abuse. Twitter, Tumblr and so many others are similar…so parents, who are aware your children are on these sites, perhaps before they get on, it would be great to navigate the sites with your child to see what the safety precautions are.

There is so much I could talk about but I’ll end here and list a few articles/sites you can get more information.

Oh, by the way, I was interviewed last with by the Montreal Gazette on Cyberbullying so I’ll add that as a resource too…what the heck {Wink}

© Cheryl-Lynn Roberts, http://Stigmahurtseveryone.info, August 30, 2013

Related Articles:

About Kids Health – Sick Kids
 Kids Help Phone/Cyberbullying
Child Porn Teens Arrested
Montreal Gazette – Searching for an effective way to fight bullying

Posted in Bullying

A photo that went viral

bistictblog.com
bistictblog.com

A photo that went viral by Cheryl-Lynn

Hey! Why d’you take that pic last night?
Man, you sure didn’t have a right
to use your phone and take that shot!
Man, you’d better hide your face
behind your screen, to not get caught.
You made her look like a disgrace
why d’ya take that shot last night?
it looks like D… was high as a kite
we all know she’s a good girl alright
she never did drugs and no alcohol
so why make her look like a doped up doll?
Oh man, this’ll ruin her reputation
everyone clicking Like and Share
how can she survive this humiliation?!
DON’T YOU GUYS EVEN CARE?
the news is out and spreading like wild fire
it’s feeling worse than a house on fire
Oh man, this’ll ruin her reputation
everyone clicking Like and Share
how can she survive this humiliation?!
DON’T YOU GUYS EVEN CARE?

© Cheryl-Lynn, resubmited November 14, 2013

National Bullying Week commences November 18th to 23rd, 2013