Cyberbullying Can Affect Youth Mental Health, Studies Find
Flower Mound, TX: Cyberbullying has brought the teasing that used to be reserved for fourth-grade playgrounds to new heights. Due to its very nature of being invasive through online devices, cyberbullying can cause Texas children to question everything from their appearance to intelligence to their sense of self-worth.
Just over 11% of Texas children ages 12-17 experienced a major depressive episode in the past year, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Bricolage Behavioral Health addresses these issues with a family-centered approach with talk and multiple modes, including art, movement, and animal-assisted therapies.
“We want to keep our youth protected by making sure they have access to mental resources. We want to empower them to be problem solvers and give them a supportive environment to create the best versions of themselves,” said Kelly Maper, chief operating officer.
Bricolage Behavioral treats children ages 7-17 (18 if in high school) with substance use, mental health, and behavioral health issues.
School bullying is on the decline, with 15% of public schools reporting that cyberbullying had occurred at least once a week, down from 29% in 1999, according to the 2020 report by the National Center for Education Statistics. This is due in part to increases in awareness campaigns and anti-bullying measures.
The Texas Association of School Boards noted expansions in 2018 to cyberbullying laws in SB 179, formerly known as David’s Law, requiring schools to establish and enforce policies to protect students’ mental well-being. The law was enacted after 16-year-old San Antonio student David Molak died by suicide after being cyberbullied.
If a child is experiencing a major depressive episode, they are more likely to turn to substance use as a coping mechanism or experience mental health issues. Texas youth have the same level of risk as the national average for alcohol, prescriptions, and tobacco use among children, according to the SAMHSA.
If a parent notices changes in a child’s behavior, Maper said communication is key to helping with whatever may be bothering them.
“Talk to your kid’s teachers, talk to your family doctor, and most importantly, talk to your kids. It’s okay to talk to your teen about depression or other mental health problems. But so many families view this as taboo.”
Bricolage Behavioral provides children and adolescents primary mental health services and secondary addiction treatment with partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient therapy. Academic support is provided alongside treatment. Bricolage Behavioral serves the needs of families in the Flower Mound area and other Dallas communities.
For more information about Bricolage Behavioral Health, contact the company here:
Bricolage Behavioral Health
3204 Long Prairie Road
Flower Mound, TX 75022