National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month 2016

September marks National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, which is a time to help promote resources and awareness around the issues of suicide prevention, how you can help others and how to talk to someone about suicide without increasing the risk of self-harm.

Mental illness and thoughts of suicide does not discriminate. It can affect anyone regardless of their age, background or gender. Suicide is the second leading cause of among young people and is often times the result of a mental illness that attacks people when most vulnerable. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) more that 41,000 Americans take their own lives and more than 494,000 Americans have received medical care for self-harm. These numbers are staggering and suicide should not be considered common. Suicide is preventable – know the warning signs and you may be able to save a life.

What are the warning sign for suicide?

  • Threats or comments about taking their life, also known as social ideation, can begin with seemingly harmless thoughts such as “I wish I wasn’t on this earth anymore”, but can become more dangerous
  • Increased use of alcohol and drug use
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Social withdrawal from friends, family and the community
  • Dramatic, over-the-top mood swings
  • Talking, writing or thoughts about death
  • Impulsive and reckless behavior

Behavior that should be taken into consideration

Anyone that is exhibiting these behaviors should seek professional help immediately:

  • Putting their affairs in order and giving away possessions
  • Saying goodbye to family and friends
  • Mood shifts from manic to calm
  • Looking around to buy, steal or borrow the tools they need to commit suicide, like firearms or prescription medications

Someone who is experiencing such behavior or thoughts should seek immediate help from a mental health care provider. Having suicidal thoughts does not make someone flawed or weak. Mental health professionals are trained to help people understand their feelings and can improve mental-wellness and resiliency – don’t be afraid to ask for help.

If you would like to learn more about SACK, please contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225. Or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

August Marks Family Fun Month

Each and every year, Family Fun Month is celebrated throughout the entire month of August. It’s the perfect opportunity for many families to enjoy each other company, while engaging in fun-filled activities.

Fortunately, summer is a perfect time of the year where you can partake in several fun activities with your entire family. Family Fun Month is a wonderful time to take advantage of enjoying your families company, while bonding over whatever activity you all choose to partake in. To help you out, I’ve compiled a list so you can get an idea of what sort of fun you can have with your family this summer!

  1. Order pizza and watch a movie in your backyard.
  2. Take a trip to the beach and collect sea shells.
  3. Take a day trip to the zoo to learn about the animals.
  4. Go on a camping trip to a new and exciting place.
  5.  Learn about stargazing and then try to identify as many constellations as you can.
  6. Pretend to be pirates for a day. Dress up, plan a treasure hunt and talk like a pirate.
  7. Throw a backyard luau with family and friends.
  8. Have a themed karaoke night.
  9. Cook a delicious meal together.
  10. Bake cookies to make ice cream sandwiches.
  11. Have a little picnic at your local state park.
  12. Take a family bike ride.
  13. Go hiking in your local national forest.
  14. Have a water balloon fight.
  15. Take a family vacation to somewhere new.
  16. Have a talent show night.
  17. Take a fishing trip.
  18. Enjoy a backyard campfire and tell ghost stories.
  19. Build a fort in your backyard.
  20. Volunteer at an animal shelter or nature center.

There’s plenty of ways to enjoy Family Fun Month, so don’t let this summer slip by without spending some fun filled quality time with your family. You can create a bucket list out of a few of these ideas, and even add a few of your very own as well. Make this one of the most memorable summers, so your children remember it their entire lifetime!

We here at Simple Acts of Care and Kindness want both you and your entire family to make the most of your summer! To learn more about Simple Acts of Care and Kindness, contact us at 866-459-7225 today. Or visit www.simpleacts.org to learn more about the S.A.C.K. foundation. 

What To Do If Your Child is Being Bullied

It’s extremely important that you talk to your children about bullying. Explain to your child what bullying is and tell him or her that it is never okay to be a bully. Not only can bullying make a child’s daily life very difficult, but it can also affect them down the road in life.

If your child is being bullied, there are a few things you as a parent can do about the situation, starting with telling him or her that it is not their fault. If your child approached you about the bullying go on to praise him or her and assure your child that you will help.  The following includes what action you should take if you child is being bullied:

Provide them with comfort and advice. Unfortunately, we can’t put a stop to bullying as immediately as we would like, but we can provide our children with tips for avoiding such harassment. If your child is being cyber bullied, you can walk them through the steps of privacy settings or discuss staying off the internet for a while to avoid the bully. Teach your child how to stay calm when responding to the bully, as reacting may encourage the bully more. Some experts have said to remove the bully’s incentives. For example, if your child’s lunch money is being stolen, try packing them a lunch instead. There is no shame is taking the high road. You should remind your children that if your advice does happen to fail, they are in no way at fault or responsible for being bullied.

Contact your child’s school. After talking with your child about the bullying situation, you should contact your child’s school. Though your child may be able to keep things to themselves, adult intervention is a necessary step in bringing the bullying to an end. Be sure to discuss the situation with your child’s teacher or principal, and make it clear that you want immediate efforts taken on their end. Also, make sure to familiarize yourself with your school’s bullying code and any relevant state laws. If you feel that your child may potentially be in danger, you may also want to contact local legal authorities. Before you approach anyone, make sure that you know the bully’s name and the specific instances when the bullying occurred.

You, as a parent, should listen calmly and carefully if your child does approach you about being bullied, meaning you shouldn’t overreact. Yelling or crying may intimidate your child, and possibly stop them from communicating in the future. There’s no doubt it’s an emotional experience discovering that your child is being bullied, however your child’s comfort should come first.

Take your child seriously and avoid laughing the situation off, or again, they may cut communication in the future. Your goal should be to show your child you care and understand the challenges of being bullied. Assure that you will stop the bully together as a team.

If you would like to learn more about bullying and what you can do to prevent it, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225. Or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information regarding bullying.

Four Common Types Of Bullying

There are several types of bullying that both children and adults can experience, though some can be more obvious than others. Nevertheless, every form of bullying should be taken serious. While schools are trying to do the best they can do to deal with bullying, parents are still the key to teaching their children how to prevent and stop it altogether. To help identify different types of bullying, we here at Simple Acts of Care and Kindness have complied a list of the four most common types of bullying, which include the following:

Physical Bullying- This type of bullying involves hitting, kicking, pinching, pushing and tripping, or stealing or damaging personal property. Physical bullying can cause both short term and long term damage. Many children won’t tell their parents when it occurs, so keep an eye out for possible warn signs such as unexplained bruises, cuts or scratches, missing or damaged clothes, or frequent complaints of stomach aches or headaches.

Verbal Bullying- Verbal bullying involves name calling, insults, teasing, threats or homophobic or racist remarks. While verbal bullying can start out harmless, it can mount to levels that start affecting the individual target. Some signs of verbal bullying include things such as being withdrawn, becoming moody or a change in appetite.

Social Bullying- Social bullying, referred to as overt bullying, is often hard to recognize and can be carried out behind the target back. It’s often done to harm someone’s social status and/or to cause humiliation. Signs of this type of bullying include shifting towards being alone, mood changes and becoming withdrawn from a group of friends. Examples of this type of social bullying include:

  • Lying and spreading rumors
  • Rudely mimicking someone
  • Playing nasty tricks to embarrass and humiliate
  • Negative facial or physical gestures
  • Encouraging others to exclude someone
  • Damaging someone’s social acceptance or reputation

Cyber Bullying- This certain type of bullying can be overt and covert bullying behavior. The bully would use digital technologies, including hardware like computers and smartphones, and software such as social media, texts, websites and other online platforms. Cyber can happen both in public or private and sometimes only the target and the bully know it’s occurring. Signs of cyber bulling may involve your child, after being on their phone or social media sites, more and becoming sad or anxious afterward. Cyber bullying includes:

  • Abusive or mean text messages or posts, images or videos
  • Purposely excluding others online
  • Posting nasty gossip or rumors online
  • Imitating people online or using their log-in to hurt them

If your child does approach you about being bullied or someone else being bullied, be sure to be supportive, praise them for the courage letting you know, and calmly gather information about the situation at hand. Always take action when it comes to bullying, especially if it becomes persistent or severe, by contacting your child’s teacher or principal to help monitor the situation until it stops completely.

If you’d like to learn about how you can put an end to bullying, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225. Or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information regarding the different types bullying.

5 Reasons You Should Be Kind

It certainly seems that we live in an unkind world. I mean, just turn on the news or take a look at your social media feed. I often ponder if there are so many bad, depressing stories, why do media and social media choose to focus on them? Either way, you should still want to encourage yourself and other to focus on the positive aspects of life.

You can choose being kind and caring in an unkind world. There are many things, people and circumstances that can try to tear you down, shake you and break you. However, it’s your choice not to let them. You have the power to keep positive and move forward. Don’t allow others to prevent you from spreading kindness. There are many reasons for you to be kind, some of which include the following:

Being kind improves happiness. Not only does being kind make others happier, it can lead to inner happiness as well. There was a study that asked volunteers to preform five acts of kindness every day for 10 weeks. After the 10 weeks were up, they found that the volunteers were 25% happier than a control group. You don’t need to change someone’s entire life to be kind. Small acts of kindness are just as meaningful for the one receiving them. You can pay someone a compliment, hold a door open for someone or help a friend with a task.

Kind people are healthier and live longer. Research has long shown that people with positive emotions and attitudes may live longer and healthier lives. Several studies suggest that acts of kindness and the emotions they produce, such as happiness and contentment, may reduce stress, lower blood pressure and improve sleep. Research has also revealed that the hormone oxytocin, which is a hormone that is released when your bond, plays a powerful role throughout the entire cardiovascular system. Kindness and bonding go hand in hand.

Kindness is quite contagious. Of course, one of the most obvious benefits of being kind is that you’re making others feel good. By making other people feel good, you’ll inspire them to want to “pay it forward”. When you perform an act of kindness, people around you typically take notice and your kind actions create a ripple effect.

Kindness doesn’t cost money. Being kind is something we can all engage in, anytime and anywhere. Being kind is a choice you make and it doesn’t cost a cent. Unfortunately, not all people realize it, but every second of your life, you have the choice be kind to others.

Kindness makes a difference in the world. People are usually kind to one another in attempt to make someone’s day better, and I assure the act of kindness does indeed make a difference. For example, caring and nurturing environments in schools makes children and youth more likely to excel. The same applies to work environments.

Don’t let anything or anyone stop you from performing random acts of kindness. Kindness has a positive effect on all areas of our lives. At the end of the day, kindness always prevails.

If you would like to help spread kindness throughout your community, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 today. Or visit www.simpleacts.org to learn more about Simple Acts of Care and Kindness.

 

4 Ways to Encourage Kindness in Kids

Nearly every single parent has probably said, “play nice, please” or “be kind to your bother”.  And I’m sure that most parents would agree that they want to raise kind and caring children. But is being kind something that can be taught?

Yes, however, most of the teaching is by example.

It’s our job to be great role models to better mold a kinder generation, as kindness isn’t taught, but rather learned. Verbally telling someone to be a kind and caring can only go so far, and with children words typically go in one ear and out the other.

The following list includes four ways to encourage kindness in kids:

  1. Walk the walk. Children understand the concept of kindness through daily interaction with their families. The way speak to others and your children even when tired are how they learn how to treat other people. So be sure to be the person you’d like you’d like your child to be.
  2. Talk the talk. Encourage your child with kind language. It’s been said that learning empathy and language go hand-in-hand. Kindness is essentially having the ability to take another person’s perspective and then altering your language and actions accordingly. When talking to children of a young age, make sure to speak positively and know how to word things in such a way that don’t demean another person.
  3. Reward big acts of kindness. It’s important to take notice of the “uncommon acts of kindness”, such as when your child builds a lemonade stand for a good cause or they go out of their way to help another person. However, you shouldn’t reward your children every day for everyday helpfulness, like taking out the trash or playing nice. That everyday kindness should be expected of them.
  4. Take them outside their comfort zone to teach empathy. If children haven’t learned compassion and generosity by the time they are 18, it’s very unlikely that they’ll learn kindness in a lecture hall. Young people should interact with people of all backgrounds, to learn how to “put the shoe on the other foot.” Take them out of their comfort zone to encourage personal growth for empathy.

Kindness should never be taken for granted. Teach your children how others should be treated. As the saying goes “treat others how you want to be treated”. If you would like to help spread kindness throughout your schools, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness (S.A.C.K.) at 866-459-7225 today. Or visit www.simpleacts.org to learn more about the S.A.C.K. foundation. 

Shocking Bullying Statistics

bullied boyThere’s no doubt that bullying has become a problematic epidemic in the United States, but just how much of a problem has it become? Whether it be cyber bullying or bullying in real life, just about everyone has experienced some degree of bullying throughout their lifetime. Though some children and teens experience bullying at high rates and with more persistence than others, generally speaking, just about every child around the country is mostly likely going to have some type of connection to bullying.

The following list includes many alarming and disheartening facts and statistics concerning both cyber bullying and bullying in “real-life”:

Bullying Facts and Statistics

  • 20% of students in the United States grades 9-12 experienced bullying or are being bullied.
  • 28% of students in the United States grades 6-12 experienced bullying or are being bullied.
  • 60% of middle schoolers say they’ve being bullied, while only 16% of the school staff believe that students are bullied.
  • Nearly 160,000 students stay home from school every day due to fear of attack or intimidation.
  • 30% of students say they’ve brought a weapon to school as a result of being bullied.
  • 6% of students say they’ve seen bullying in their schools.
  • Over 25% of young people have been bullied repeatedly through cells phones or social media.
  • Bullying stops within 10 seconds 57% of the time when a bystander intervenes.
  • 30% of the youth admit to bullying others.
  • Bullying was factor in 12 of 15 school shootings in the 1990’s.
  • In schools with ant bullying programs, bullying is decreased by 50%
  • 20% of high school students have reported seriously considering suicide within the last 12 months

Children at Risk of Being Bullied

Sadly, children and teens that are considered different than others are the most frequent targets of bullies. Youth with disabilities; gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students; students that are overweight; and students that are perceived as “weak” or “insecure” are the most likely targets of bullies. However, even if a child does have these risk factors, it doesn’t mean they will get bullied.

Parents and teachers that are in close contact with children on the school’s campus need to help put bullying to an end. Whole children need to come together to support and accept one another to help reduces these alarming statistics.

If you would like to learn about how you can help put an end to bullying, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225. Or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information regarding bullying.

What You Need To Know About Cyberbullying

Cyber BullyingWe’re in a day and age where the internet and technology has changed the way we socialize, and for the most part, these changes have been positive. However, there is dark side to the internet and social media forums that is in desperate need for our attention.

Unfortunately, social media can turn into an unsafe place when you turn to them for decompressing. In today’s world, social media can has turned into a place for bullying, commonly know as cyberbullying.

What is Cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place using electronic technology; this could be a hateful text message, an insulting comment on social media, or an embarrassing photo or video. However, computer and mobile devices themselves are not to blame for cyberbullying, the person behind them are.

Sadly, this sort of bullying is happening more often than not. With easy access to social media and mobile devices, and the ability to stay anonymous has made it possible for cyberbullies to attack at all hours of the day.

How Cyberbullying is Different:

Those who are being cyberbullied are often bullied in person as well. Furthermore, children who are being cyberbullied have a hard time escaping it.

  • Cyberbullying can happen 24 hours a day. 7 days a week. It can happen at any hour day or night, and can reach someone when they are alone.
  • Cyberbullying messages and images can be posted anonymously and shared quickly with a very large audience. It can also be quite difficult and sometimes impossible to trace the original source.
  • Permanently deleting inappropriate or harassing messages, texts and photos is nearly impossible to do after they have been sent or posted.

Effects of Cyberbullying:

As mentioned earlier, cell phones and computers are not to blame for cyber bullying. Social media sites and cell phones can be used for positive engagement, like connecting kids with friends and family, helping students with school, and for entertainment purposes.  But sadly these tools can also be used to hurt one another. Whether you’re being bullied in person or cyberbullied, the effects are typically similar. Both real-world bullying and cyberbullying can have serious emotional consequences for both kids and teens.

Kids and teens who are cyberbullied are more likely to:

  • Use alcohol or drugs
  • Skip out on school
  • Suffer from depression
  • To be unwilling to attend school
  • Receive poor grades
  • Have low self-esteem
  • Have more health issues.

Both kids and teens are often reluctant to report bullying, even to their parents. That being said, it’s extremely important for parents to keep an eye on their children and their behavior.

For more information regarding bullying, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org to learn more about Simple Acts of Care and Kindness and our mission!

Take Action against Bullying Today | SACK of Corona, CA

teasing/bullyingBullying can stop but it won’t magically happen. According to research, if parents or caregivers gave their undivided attention to their children for at least 15 minutes, remarkable things can happen. Also, research has shown that children really do look up to their parents, but you shouldn’t need research to already know that.

Bullying can affect everyone around you. Whether you’re the target, a witness, or the person bullying, it’s something that creates fear, which affects your peers, your school, and sometimes the entire community. When we fail to identify and stop bulling as it occurs, we are essentially promoting violence. We are letting the bully get away with his/her actions, and making the victim feel they are not worth protecting. Be sure not to dismiss any acts of bullying, it’s everyone’s responsibility to take action against bullying and to keep our schools safe.

What Can I Do To Take Action Again Bullying?

  • Take the First Step- Get started by assessing your schools prevention and intervention efforts concerning student behavior, including violence and substance use. You may be able to help your school build upon them, while also integrating bullying prevention strategies.
  • Evaluate Bullying in Your School- Conduct assessments in your school to determine how often bullying occurs, where is happens and how students and adults interfere. This way you can also determine whether or not your efforts are working.
  • Engage Parents and Youth- It’s important for everyone in your community to work together to send a unified message out against bullying. You can launch a campaign to make sure that the objectives are known by the school, parents and entire community.
  • Make Policies and Rules- You could create a code of conduct, school-wide rules and a bullying reporting system. This can help organize a climate in where bullying is not acceptable.
  • Build a Safe Environment- Aim to establish a school of acceptance, tolerance and most of all respect. You can use staff meetings, assemblies, class meetings, PTA meetings, newsletters to the families and even the schools website to help establish a safe and positive school environment.
  • Educate School Staff and Students- Integrate bullying prevention material into the school curriculum and activities. Also, train the teachers and staff the schools rules and policies. This will give them the skills to intervene persistently and appropriately.

For more information regarding bullying prevention, call us at 866-459-7225 or visit our website at www.simpleacts.org learn more about Simple Acts of Care and Kindness (SACK).

10 Simple Acts of Care and Kindness | SACK of Corona, CA

Have you ever had a day where one person’s simple act of care and kindness made your entire day? It could have been a simple smile in passing to a kind person holding the door open for you. There are several simple acts of care and kindness that could make someone’s entire day turn around, even after having a terrible start.

In this day and age bullying is occurring more often than not in schools, making a simple act of kindness that much more important now. No matter what shape or form bullying comes in, it can make people feel hurt, depressed and alone. It’s up to us as individuals to help show others kindness and positivity prevails in any situation. Here are 10 simple acts of care and kindness that could possibly turn someone’s frown upside down:

  1. If people around are gossiping about another, chime in with something nice to say about them.
  2. Smile at someone, just because. Smiles are contagious!
  3. Try to make sure everyone in a group conversation feels included.
  4. Write a little positive note to a friend.
  5. Talk and make the new kid at school feel welcome.
  6. If someone is being bullied, stand up for them.
  7. Give your seat up to someone on the bus.
  8. Make two lunches and give away one.
  9. Talk to the shy person who’s sitting by themselves at lunch.
  10. Be kind to everyone, even if they are bullying you. “Kill them with kindness.”

Everyone one deserves with be treated kindly, so don’t wait another second to turn someone’s day around with a simple act of kindness. Think about what simple acts of kindness would make you smile and share those ideas with others. Let’s us all come together and contribute all sorts of simple acts of care and kindness.

For more information call us at 866-459-7225 or visit our website at www.simpleacts.org.