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Bullying Prevention

When asked the question: "What threatens your safety and emotional health?" most kids say teasing and bullying. When bullying behaviors are present, there are negative effects on the victims, the bystanders, and the bully. Targets of bullying and bystanders are more likely to grow up depressed and anxious. Young people who bully others are much more likely than those who do not bully others to become adult criminals. Bullying can be prevented and it takes an entire community to do so.

For more information on bullying and ways to prevent bullying, check out Stop Bullying Now.

Self-injury (cutting)

Self-injury is intentional, non-life-threatening, self-inflicted bodily harm or disfigurement of a socially unacceptable nature, performed to reduce psychological distress. Self-injury is not new, but it has been growing more common recently. If you or someone you know is engaging in self-injurious behavior, please find a trusted adult to talk to—there are other ways to reduce psychological distress and you deserve help in learning new ways of coping.

For more information about self injurious behavior, check out Cool Nurse.


Everyone has good days and bad days, ups and downs. Everyone has to deal with some difficult times caused by a loss or a major life change, such as the death of someone you care about, the break-up of a relationship, or the divorce of your parents. But if this unhappiness lasts for more than two weeks and starts to interfere with your life, it might be caused by depression. Depression is a physical illness for which treatment is available. Depression can affect as many as one in eight people in their teen years. It can happen to people of every race, economic status, or age. Research has found that it does seem to affect more females than males during adolescence and adulthood and that anxiety disorders, eating disorders, schizophrenia, and (especially) substance abuse often appear along with depression.

Take the online National Mental Health Association's Depression Assessment. The results from this screening will tell you what you to do next.

Eating Disorders

The National Eating Disorders Association web site states that, "Eating disorders are real, complex and devastating conditions that can have serious consequences for health, productivity, and relationships." Eating disorders are not just a "fad" or a "phase." They are serious, potentially life-threatening conditions that affect a person’s emotional and physical health. People struggling with an eating disorder need to seek professional help. The earlier a person with an eating disorder seeks treatment the greater the likelihood of physical and emotional recovery.

For more information on eating disorders, visit the National Eating Disorders Association.

Substance Abuse

Alcohol impacts a teenager differently than an adult because the adolescent brain is still developing—especially the part of the brain the deals with decision making (1). Drinking before the age of 21 places teens at higher risk for academic failure, depression, suicide, and sexual assault (2|3). It also increases the risk for alcohol dependence. Young people who begin drinking before age 17 are twice as likely to develop alcohol dependence than those who begin drinking at age 21. Those who begin by age 15 are more than four times more likely to develop dependence (4). Alcohol is associated with the three leading causes of death for young people—accidents of all kinds, suicide and homicide. Other substances carry many of the same risks in addition to being illegal.

For more information about substance abuse, check out

For more information on these and more teen related health concerns go to Kids Health.


  1. M.A.D.D. website article Brain 101, by Scott Swartwelder, Ph.D. reprinted from DRIVEN magazine, Fall 1998
  2. Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth - Consequences of Under age Drinking -
  3. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. 1999. The Relationship Between Mental Health and Substance Abuse Among Adolescents.
  4. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 1992 National Longitudinal Alcohol Epidemiological Survey.