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'Reaching Out' for help with bullying

In the recent days since the very publicized death of Amanda Todd, counselors at Kelowna's Reach Out centre say their phones have been ringing off the hook.

According to youth counsellor Deb Mitchell it's mostly parents making the phone calls, as many are coming to the realization that bullying is a much bigger threat than what they initially had considered.

"I don't think we are seeing more bullying (taking place), but it is just coming to light recently. I think it (bullying) has always been an issue."

Mitchell says it's extremely important parents are aware of the impact of bullying on their children and the importance of agencies that help young people  to build self esteem.

"There are lots of resources in the community, such as programs at the Boys and Girls Club; it's just, parents and children need to know how to access them. "

Ruth Agar, another youth counsellor with Reach Out, says children who have been bullied need to be empowered and given a voice in order to overcome their fears.

"It's a difficult issue and it impacts them more than we know sometimes. Not to mention because of the Internet and Facebook and all of those things that are out there now, it does follow them home."

Agar says because bullying is no longer confined to the playground, it is hard to get away from, which makes it more devastating for the victim.

"It's important to talk to parents, because sometimes they can be a voice with you or for you, same with teachers and counselors, we're here to help."

Castanet spoke with several parents, who were waiting for their children after school, to find how many of them were taking about bullying at home.

Many parents claimed that Amanda Todd's death did spark conversations with their children while others explained they constantly have conversations about both being a bullying and bullying.

If you would like to contact Reach Out Youth Counseling regarding bullying or any other issues please call 250-763-7892

18810


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