Bullying and Suicide

By: Brandon Owensby

Information to parents about the facts, signs, and prevention of bullying and suicide.

"Some of the kids knew about it before it happened, but they didn’t want to say anything—they have a code of honor and theydid not want to tattletale. But someone has to stand up; someone has to take a stand because, if you don’t, then somebody else is going to get hurt" (Losey, 2011, p. 9).

Gregory Carter, Teacher, Richmond, Virginia

Victim of a school shooting

Picture from ("youthvoice", 2011).


I want to start you off with this video of Amanda Todd.

Picture from (Warren & Keanelly, 2012).

My story: Struggling, bullying, suicide, self harm


  • usually defined as a specific form of aggression, which is intentional, repeated, and involves a disparity of power between the victim and perpetrators (Wang & Nansel, 2009, p. 369)

  • Physical (i.e., assault)
  • Verbal (i.e., threats or
  • Relational (i.e., exclusion or rumor spreading)
  • Cyber (i.e., aggressive texts or social network posts)

  • 10 to 20% of adolescents are bullies (Berk, 2010, p. 343)
  • 15 to 30% of adolescents are repeatedly bullied
  • 10–20 % percent of children report being cyber bullied or cyber bullying (Litwiller & Brausch, 2013, p. 676)

  • Bullying repeatedly has been found to be associated with or predict adolescent suicide risk (Litwiller & Brausch, 2013, p. 681)

Picture from ("National Association").


  • the action of killing oneself intentionally

  • 3rd leading cause of death of youth in America (Berk, 2010, p. 422)
  • Ratio of male suicide to female suicide is 3 or 4 to 1
  • Research conducted by Wang & Nansel, they found that "prevalence rates of having bullied others or having been bullied at school for at least once in the last 2 months were 20.8% physically, 53.6% verbally, 51.4% socially or 13.6% electronically."

Picture from ("Goodbye World").

Signs of Bullying and Suicide

Bullying (Litwiller & Brausch, 2013, p. 675)
  • Unexplainable injuries
  • Lost or destroyed clothing, books, electronics, or jewelry
  • *Unsociable
  • *Decline in academics and attendance
  • *Disciplinary problems
  • *Neglect of personal appearance
  • *Sleep changes (loss or excessive sleep)
  • *Appetite changes (more or less food)
  • *Physical complaints (stomachaches, backaches, headaches, etc.)
  • Feelings of helplessness or decreased self esteem
  • Self-destructive behaviors (e.g. running away from home, harming themselves, or talking about suicide*****)

Suicide (Berk, 2010, p. 423)
  • Feelings of sadness
  • 'uncaring attitude'
  • Extreme fatigue, lack of energy, boredom
  • *Unsociable
  • Easily frustrated
  • Emotional outburst
  • Unable to concentrate
  • *Decline in academics and attendance
  • *Disciplinary problems
  • *Neglect of personal appearance
  • *Sleep changes (loss or excessive sleep)
  • *Appetite changes (more or less food)
  • *Physical complaints (stomachaches, backaches, headaches, etc.)

**Notice that the ones starred are the same in both the signs of bullying and suicide**

Picture from (Penny, 2009).

Prevention of Bullying and Suicide

Prevent Bullying by:
  1. Showing strong parental support may protect adolescents from all four types of bullying. (Wang & Nansel, 2009, p. 368)
  2. Changing youth environment (i.e. school, sports programs, neighborhoods) (Berk, 2010, p. 343)
  3. Promoting good social behaviors and attitudes
  4. Teaching intervention
  5. Forming friendships
  6. Creating school programs to help student report and seek help from bullying (Losey, 2011, p. 13)

Prevent Suicide by:
  1. Recognizing the signs and symptoms (Berk, 2010, p. 423)
  2. Talking to the child's doctor
  3. Seeking counseling and support when child is in danger
  4. Listening to them
  5. Removing any objects that might provoke suicide (i.e., knives, guns, razors, scissors, drugs)
  6. Helping them cope with the grief, anger, and guilt

Picture from ("Sore Eye").

Amanda Todd

After posting her video on Youtube on September 7, 2012, she committed suicide, by cutting her wrist, on October 10, 2012 at the age of 15 (Warren & Keanelly, 2012). For more information about Amanda Todd and her story visit: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2218532/Amanda-Todd-Anonymous-names-man-drove-teen-kill-spreading-nude-pictures.

Picture from (Warren & Keanelly, 2012).


Berk, L. E. (2010). Development Through the Lifespan (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.

Goodbye World…A Suicide Note to Everyone | Recruiterpoet Blog [Web log post]. (2011, June 4). Retrieved from http://recruiterpoet.com/2011/07/04/goodbye-world-a-suicide-note-to-everyone/

Litwiller, B. J., & Brausch, A. M. (2013). Cyber bullying and physical bullying in adolescent suicide: The role of violent behavior and substance use. Journal Of Youth And Adolescence, 42(5), 675-684. doi:10.1007/s10964-013-9925-5

Losey, B. (2011). Effective School Prevention. Bullying, suicide, and homicide: Understanding, assessing, and preventing threats to self and others for victims of bullying (pp. 9-23). Retrieved from http://media.routledgeweb.com/pp/common/sample-chapters/9780415873475.pdf

My story: Struggling, bullying, suicide, self harm. (2012, September 7). Retrieved October 15, 2013, from http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=vOHXGNx-E7E

National Association of People Against Bullying | San Clemente, CA 92673. (n.d.). Retrieved October 15, 2013, from http://www.napab.org/

Penny, M. (2009, December 14). The Bully Suicide Project : Giving Victims Of Bullying Their Voices Back – Queeried : Queeried [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.queeried.com/the-bully-suicide-project-giving-victims-of-bullying-their-voices-back/

Sore eye (Red Eye) prevention at home | friendflame [Web log post]. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://friendflame.wordpress.com/2011/02/24/sore-eye-red-eye-prevention-at-home/

Wang, J., Iannotti, R. J., & Nansel, T. R. (2009). School Bullying Among US Adolescents: Physical, Verbal, Relational and Cyber. Journal of Adolescent Health, 45(4), 368–375. doi:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2009.03.021

Warren, L., & Keanelly, M. (2012, October 16). Amanda Todd: Anonymous names man who drove teen to kill herself for spreading nude pictures | Mail Online. Retrieved October 15, 2013, from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2218532/Amanda-Todd-Anonymous-names-man-drove-teen-kill-spreading-nude-pictures.html

youthvoice, lady gaga and a very special cause - Mixologi [Web log post]. (2011, November 17). Retrieved from http://mixologicity.com/youthvoice-lady-gaga-and-a-very-special-cause/