Rocky Mount, Va. (October 18, 2019) – October is national bullying prevention month. Bullying is a key social issue that impacts many kids and their ability to reach their full potential. Whether the bullying is physical, verbal or online, those who are bullied can suffer negative effects, including depression, poor performance in school, physical illness and increased risk for suicide.

Everyone involved with young people has a role to play in preventing this damaging behavior. One way the Franklin County YMCA’s SAFE before and after school program helps prevent bullying is by making sure staff and students display qualities of an “upstander” – someone who recognizes when bullying is happening and safely works to stop it.

Promoting positive behaviors like being an upstander can be part of the solution to bullying. At the Franklin County Y, modeling positive behaviors is foundational to everything we do. Our core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility form the roots of our work, helping young people become the changemakers our communities need to become strong. “A big part of what we do in our after school program is make young leaders. A huge part of that is to give them guidance on how to treat others and how important it is to be kind.” Jamie Stump, Childcare Coordinator.

YMCAs nationwide work hard every day to provide safe spaces for children to grow and thrive. This is part of our commitment to helping develop and activate young people so they can transform communities today and in the future.

Three actions anyone can take to prevent bullying is to treat others kindly and with respect, interrupt and report bullying incidents, and show support for the bullied person. Learn how to support victims of bullying by visiting ymca.net/membernews. To learn more about Franklin County YMCAs SAFE before and after school program contact Jamie Stump at (540)489-9622 or jstump@franklincountyymca.org.