Kathleen Sebelius: New Initiatives To End Bullying


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius released the following statement about new initiatives to end bullying in schools across the country.

October is Bullying Prevention Awareness Month—when individuals, families, schools and communities across the nation help to raise awareness about bullying prevention. Bullying remains a widespread problem with nearly 30 percent of adolescents in the U.S. reporting some experience with bullying, whether as the victim, the bully or both. An infographic developed by the Health Resources and Services Administration highlights important facts and information about bullying prevention. We know that there are a number of emotional effects that can result from bullying such as depression and anxiety. There are also physical effects as well, like headaches and stomachaches, and sleep problems. In a special supplement of the Journal of Adolescent Health supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in collaboration with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, we see how researchers continue to investigate the complex relationship between bullying and suicide. 

But help is available. I am very pleased to highlight a number of exciting activities and initiatives that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will be launching during Bullying Prevention Awareness Month.

Media Guidelines for Bullying Prevention

Media coverage of social issues can have a widespread impact on how communities understand and address problems. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has developed media guidelines conveniently located in the newsroom of This guidance offers help to journalists, bloggers, and others to engage in responsible reporting on this important topic.

Conversation Starters Mobile App

Later this month, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration will release a mobile app for parents to help start conversations with their children about bullying. This app will be available for both Android and Apple platforms. 

Bullying Prevention Training Center

This revamped section of provides a one-stop-shop for training materials for educators and community leaders. These new materials, developed by the Health Resources and Services Administration, will be available in late October in our training section on

Successful bullying prevention can’t happen alone! We work closely with the Departments of Education, Justice, and Agriculture, and others, through the Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention; including supporting, which continues to be an excellent resource for bullying prevention information. 

We are collaborating with these offices to support youth engagement. Across the country, youth are encouraged to talk about bullying by organizing bullying prevention social and educational events through youth organizations in their communities. Youth can report back on these activities through our Tumblr page.

The Department of Education has issued guidance in the form of a Dear Colleague letter that provides an overview of school districts’ responsibilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act to address bullying of students with disabilities. 

With all of these resources available, it’s a great time to consider how you can help raise awareness about bullying and take action to stop it. Find out the latest policies and laws that are in your state. Teens can find inspiration by visiting our Tumblr site. Tell us what you are going to do by engaging on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. And follow along with Bullying Prevention Awareness Month Activities at #StopBullying13.

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Michael Madrid's picture
Michael Madrid
Submitted by Michael Madrid on
Bullying is something that all cultures and races suffer. In the late 60s the Beatles sang, "All you need is love," but in my later years I've come to believe that's not true. All we need is empathy. Once you can walk a mile in someone else's mocassins you'll appreciate their viewpoint more. Bullies are insecure people. Once you realize that it takes away the fear and anxiety they often cause.

Michael Madrid's picture
Michael Madrid
Submitted by Michael Madrid on
Here we are again, one day after this article was posted and there is yet ANOTHER school shooting which injured two students and killed a popular math teacher. The shooter, a middle school student, also took his own life. Bullying is more detrimental than most people realize. We are a nation of bullies and we're not taught to feel empathy for others. This is why the Redskins must change their name: how can we continue to belittle each other for the smallest differences?