THE “BULLYCIDE” MYTH
The "Bullycide" Myth™ as an invited Feature Presentation at the
New York State School Boards Association’s 2015 Annual Convention
There is no dispute that bullying is a serious public health issue. Young people experience bullying and cyberbullying in daunting numbers: nearly 8 million children experience bullying in a single year. But the term “bullycide” suggests an inescapable connection between bullying (or cyberbullying) and suicide -- a dangerous message to send to young people who themselves may be increased risk.
Created and delivered in collaboration with Rethink’s Chief Education and Ethics Consultant Frederick Lane, The "Bullycide" Myth™ helps school communities better understand the complexity of the relationship between bullying and suicide.
Among The "Bullycide" Myth™ leading goals:
lessen the risk of inadvertently normalizing suicide as an inevitable outcome of bullying
determine whether, when, and how to implement bullying prevention and/or suicide prevention programs for students
appropriately and safely communicate important messages of peer support within the community
address the legal implications of bullying
Debunking the dangerously oversimplified media narrative connecting bullying and suicide, The "Bullycide" Myth™ is a unique and informative presentation for school administrators, counselors, faculty, board members, and interested others.
CARE FOR THE CAREGIVER
Are you a survivor of suicide loss who facilitates a bereavement support group?
When was the last time you paused to explore where you are in your own journey?
Joanne L. Harpel, MPhil, JD and Franklin James Cook, MA, CPC -- national leaders in peer grief support, and both longtime survivors of suicide loss themselves -- offer experiential retreats that explore the impact of personal loss on clinicians and other professional caregivers. This groundbreaking initiative creates opportunities for them to explore where they are in their own journey of healing, examine how their loss has affected them personally and professionally, and connect with peers who have had similar experiences.
“powerful and wonderful”
“a unique, transforming experience”
“it met my needs in ways I couldn’t even imagine”
Joanne L. Harpel, MPhil, JD, is the President and CEO of Rethink The Conversation, President of Coping After Suicide, and former Senior Director for Public Affairs and Postvention for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Joanne left her corporate law practice following the 1993 suicide of her brother Stephen to devote her professional life to working with survivors of suicide loss.
Franklin James Cook, MA, CPC, is a private consultant and owner of Unified Community Solutions in Boston, Mass. His work is devoted to delivering peer support services to help bereaved people cope with a death from suicide or substance use. For the past 20 years, Franklin has been a grassroots advocate for systems change in mental health, addiction recovery, and grief services. Franklin's father died of suicide in 1978 after a lifelong struggle with alcoholism.
Interested in learning more about this Rethink? #LetsStartTalking
Conversation Masterclass is an evidence-informed, interactive workshop offering practical skills and creative ideas for facilitating any kind of group conversation. We customize the approach for your particular setting or dynamic, including:
We explore the difference between facilitating, leading, and teaching. We clarify exactly what your role is (and isn’t) to make you the most effective facilitator you can be. Regardless of your experience with group facilitation, you’ll learn tips, strategies, and foolproof ways to handle difficult situations.
Conversation Masterclasses have been delivered to thousands of people in professional, community, and organizational settings.
CONVERSATION MASTERCLASS: FACILITATOR TRAINING
“Even though I’ve been facilitating groups for a long time... I learned so many new things…”
Joanne L. Harpel
crisis response teams
peer support groups
“Spotlight on Adolescent Girls' Mental Health: A Closer Look at Suicide,” was a unique opportunity to rethink the tragedy of adolescent suicide, sponsored by the Jewish Women’s Foundation of New York, which considers issues through a “Jewish and gender lens.”
Together with Dr. Jeffrey Borenstein, President and CEO of Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, the program addressed the coverage of the Centers for Disease Control’s report “Increase in Suicide in the United States, 1999-2014,” which included a New York Times article proclaiming ”U.S. Suicide Rate Surges to a 30-Year High” and asserting an “alarming increase among girls 10 to 14, whose suicide rate . . . had tripled.” (4/6/16; emphasis added). We examined the CDC report more closely, revealing that it in fact describes an incremental (1-2%/year) increase that took place over a 15-year period, belying the sensationalized headline.
SPOTLIGHT ON ADOLESCENT GIRLS' MENTAL HEALTH:
A CLOSER LOOK AT SUICIDE
TALKING OutLOUD: TEENS & SUICIDE LOSS
Every year in the United States, nearly a million teenagers lose someone to suicide. Most of them will deal with it alone.
Young people often don’t talk with their parents. Rarely do they seek counseling or attend support groups. Already likely to feel more shame, anger, guilt, and abandonment than if the loss had been due to something more “acceptable” like a car accident or even cancer, they face the world unprepared, unsupported, misunderstood, and with a deep sense of loneliness.
Directed by Rethink’s Chief Creative Consultant Geoffrey Cantor, Talking OutLOUD will reach teens where they are, delivering a desperately-needed message of hope and healing directly from their peers, through the familiar, anonymous, and safe medium of video.
"My mom took her own life when I was thirteen. I’m 17 now and I've never met another kid my age who has gone through the same thing as I have."
“My friends were kind of weird around me. They didn’t know what to say.”
Geoffrey Cantor, Director
WHAT DO I DO WHEN...?
WHAT CLERGY NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MENTAL ILLNESS
Clergy play a key and unique role with respect to mental health: they are at once spiritual leaders, community gatekeepers, educators, confidantes, role models – and quasi-mental health professionals.What Do I Do When…? is the first-of-its-kind effort to better equip clergy to serve congregants facing mental health challenges, crises, and recovery.
For a family in crisis or grieving a suicide, how the clergy responds can resonate longer and have a more profound impact than anything said or done by virtually anyone else. When they get it right, it can be life-changing, leaving the grateful congregants feeling deeply connected to their belief system and their faith community, and restoring their confidence that the world is safe. But when they get it wrong, it can leave entire families feeling so betrayed that they refuse to ever set foot in a house of worship again.
Well-meaning and deeply committed, clergy may nevertheless feel ill-equipped to adequately address mental health issues, whether it’s managing a parishioner whose disruptive behavior is rooted in panic or paranoia, or safely eulogizing an adolescent who took his own life. If clergy understand the science underlying mental illness they can not only better serve their congregants but also move the greater community from a place of judgment and fear to one of compassion and inclusion, potentially impacting thousands.
Created in collaboration with Sinai & Synapses (an organization that explores important topics from scientific and religious perspectives), Drisha Institute for Jewish Education, and The Jewish Board -- and supported by a generous grant from UJA-Federation of New York -- the pilot program featured an interdisciplinary faculty including Dr. Joseph E. Struckus, Clinical and Consulting Neuropsychologist and Health Psychologist, and Owner and Director, Health Psychology Associates Northwest; and Dr. Michael Myers, psychiatrist and member of the Scientific Program Committee of the American Psychiatric Association.
Following media coverage in both The Jewish Week and the Forward, What Do I Do When…? was presented at the Central Conference of American Rabbis’ annual convention and is available to communities nationwide.
“The mixture of facts, therapeutic approaches, and religious text…helped expand my personal and professional perspective on this important topic"
"The work you do is a blessing that will surely continue to breakdown stigma and build up resources, capacity and resilience.”