- Talk daily to your teen and find about their school lives and their relationships with friends and peers.
- Listen thoughtfully to their answers. Your teen will then know you are interested in his/her emotional state and will later come to you when upset.
- Signs of physical injury
- Torn clothing or broken or "lost" possessions
- School avoidance
- Physical symptoms such as headaches, stomachaches to excuse him/herself from school.
- Mood changes that exceed "usual" mood fluctuations of teenagers. Note increased episodes of tearfulness, anxiety, irritability or apathy.
Teach Positive Ways of Protecting Themselves
- Walk away from a bully.
- Avoid physical aggression which may escalate the situation.
- Practice verbal assertiveness such as saying "Stop!" to a bully.This demonstrates that the bully's behavior is intolerable.
Get Professional Support When Needed
If your teen is showing the following signs, seek professional help:
- Increased depression, anxiety, or escalating alcohol or substance use.
- Expressed thoughts about harming himself/herself.
- Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-TALK or The Trevor Project at (866) 4-U-TREVOR (866-488-7386).