MIAMI – This fall, students will return to a more normal school year, but many will still spend hours online and face social bullying.
Dosomething.org, the online youth moment for social change, notes that 95 percent of teens in the U.S. are online. The majority of them are using mobile devices, making that the most common device for online bullying. The group also found more than a third of 12 to 17-year-olds have been bullied online at least once.
Dr. Guerda Nicolas, a child and family psychologist with the University of Miami, said there are signs parents can look out for that their child is being bullied.
“One of them is an increase in stress. You will see that the child is much more stressed about lots of things. They are stressed about what to wear, what’s happening in school, and being at home. So you’re just going to see an elevated level of stress. The other thing you will see is an increased level of anxiety along with all of those symptoms I just mentioned in terms of irritability and so forth and so on,” she said.
Nicolas said there are a number of resources out there to help parents. She recommends calling 211, a hotline in Mami-Dade and Broward. They can provide connections to many kinds of resources and services, including crisis and emergency counseling for mental health concerns.