KnowBullying, a free smartphone app created by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), provides parents, caretakers, educators, and others with information and communication support to help prevent bullying and build resilience in children.
The KnowBullying app will be unveiled at the upcoming Federal Bullying Prevention Summit
on August 15, 2014. It is designed to address the various needs of children ages 3 to 6, 7 to 13, and teens. Developed in collaboration with the StopBullying.gov Federal partnership, KnowBullying is available for iPhone® and Android™ smartphones.
Almost one-fifth of all students in grades 9 to 12 have been bullied on school property. Almost 15 percent of students in these grades have experienced cyberbullying, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System. Bullying has serious consequences with long-term impact on mental health, substance use, violence, criminal convictions, and suicidal ideation.
Research shows that as little as 15 minutes a day of focused conversation with a child about issues related to bullying can help build self-esteem and prevent bullying. These discussions can strengthen relationships and promote a feeling of connectedness, helping children develop effective strategies for facing bullying – whether children are being bullied, engaging in bullying or witnessing bullying. The app is a helpful resource and reminder for parents and caregivers to start a conversation that their kids will remember when it counts. It also reminds children that they can go to their parents if they have a problem.
“The KnowBullying app empowers parents and caregivers by placing resources they need right in their hands to help prevent bullying,” said Paolo del Vecchio, director of SAMHSA’s Center for Mental Health Services. “This needs to be part of a community-wide effort to help protect our children from the unnecessary harm, and in some cases, devastating long-term consequences of bullying.”
KnowBullying provides concerned parents, caregivers, educators, and others:
- Conversation Starters: Start easy, meaningful conversations with your children.
- Tips: Learn strategies to prevent bullying for ages 3 to 6, 7 to 13, and older teens.
- Warning Signs: Recognize if your child is engaging in bullying, being bullied, or witnessing bullying.
- Reminders: Talk with your child when the time feels right: a quiet moment on the way to school or a game, during dinner, or playing outside.
- Social Media: Share successful strategies and useful advice via Facebook, Twitter, email, and text messages.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA's mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities.