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 are receive medical care for self-harm. These numbers are staggering, 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.

Understanding & Overcoming Bullying | SACK of Corona, Ca

ThinkstockPhotos-480003524Individuals bully for a number of reasons, understanding why they bully can help you overcome bullying or help others who may be being bullied move past it as well. The truth is bullies are basically lashing out as a form of concealing their own troubles or shortcomings.

Reasons why a bully is bullying:

-To look or appear powerful

-Because they themselves are being bullied

-To make themselves popular

-They are jealous of you

-To escape their own problems

Tip #1: Understand the truth about bullying

  • Walk away from the bully. Bullies want to know they have control over your emotions so don’t react with anger or retaliate with physical force. If you walk away, ignore them, or calmly and assertively tell them you’re not interested in what they have to say, you’re demonstrating that they don’t have control over you.
  • Protect yourself. If you can’t walk away and are being physically hurt, protect yourself so you can get away. Your safety is the first priority.
  • Report the bullying to a trusted adult. If you don’t report threats and assaults, a bully will often become more and more aggressive. In many cases adults can find ways to help with the problem without letting the bully know it was you who reported them.
  • Repeat as necessary. Like the bully, you may have to be relentless. Report each and every bullying incident until it stops. There is no reason for you to ever put up with bullying.

Tip #2: Reframe the problem of bullying

By changing your attitude towards bullying you can help regain a sense of control.

  • Try to view bullying from a different perspective. The bully is an unhappy, frustrated person who wants to have control over your feelings so that you feel as badly as they do. Don’t give them the satisfaction.
  • Look at the big picture. Bullying can be extremely painful, but try asking yourself how important it will seem to you in the long run. Will it matter in a year? Is it worth getting so upset over? If the answer is no, focus your time and energy elsewhere.
  • Focus on the positive. Reflect on all the things you appreciate in your life, including your own positive qualities and gifts. Make a list and refer to it whenever you feel down.
  • Find the humor. If you’re relaxed enough to recognize the absurdity of a bullying situation, and to comment on it with humor, you’ll likely no longer be an interesting target for a bully.
  • Don’t try to control the uncontrollable. Many things in life are beyond our control—including the behavior of other people. Rather than stressing, focus on the things you can control such as the way you choose to react to bullies.

Tip #3: Find support from those who don’t bully

Having trusted people you can turn to for encouragement and support will boost your resilience when being bullied. Reach out to connect with family and real friends (those who don’t participate in bullying) or explore ways of making new friends. There are plenty of people who will love and appreciate you for who you are.

  • Find others who share your same values and interests. You may be able to make friends at a youth group, book club, or religious organization. Learn a new sport, join a team, or take up a new hobby such as chess, art, or music.
  • Share your feelings. Talk to a parent, counselor, coach, religious leader, or trusted friend. Expressing what you’re going through can make a huge difference to the way you feel, even if it doesn’t change the situation.
  • Boost your confidence. Exercise is a great way to help you feel good about yourself, as well as reduce stress. Punch a mattress or take a kick boxing class to work off your anger.
  • Don’t beat yourself up. Don’t make a bullying incident worse by dwelling on it or replaying it over and over in your head. Instead, focus on positive experiences you’ve had(Source: help guide.org).

It’s important to keep in mind that it’s probably the bully thats actually suffering and not to dwell on it or think you’re less than. Recovering from bullying can take time, and everyone heals at his or her own pace. However, if you do find yourself dwelling on the incident(s), it’s important for you to seek help from a parent, school counselors, a teacher or a professional therapist.

What Can You Do If You See Someone Being Bullied? | SACK of Corona, Ca

BystanderWhen you help someone who’s being bullied, you may also help yourself. It can feel great to support someone in need and to stand up for what you believe! Many of us see someone being bullied at some point. It may be easier to just stand by, or even to laugh. But if you are brave and kind, you can be a real hero. Remember, the person being bullied may feel awful and all alone.

Bullying usually involves one or more people teasing, being violent towards, or harassing somebody on an ongoing basis. Bullying can happen in person and online and through cell phones.

What can you do if you see or know someone being bullied?

  • Stand up for the person. If it feels safe, defend the person being bullied. Bullies often care a lot about being popular and powerful. If you make the bullying seem uncool, the bully may stop.
  • Tell an adult. If you feel uncomfortable telling an adult, ask the adult to keep your comments private.
  • Encourage the bullied person to talk to an adult. Offer to go with them.
  • Offer support. Ask if the person is okay. Be friendly the next day. You can make a big difference just by showing you care.
  • Don’t join in or watch bullying. Bullies love an audience. Walk away, and see if you can get others to leave, too. Of course, don’t just abandon someone who is in real danger. Go get help.
  • Stop any rumors. If someone tells you gossip, don’t pass it on to others. You wouldn’t want someone spreading rumors about you(Source: girlshealth.gov).

If you see someone being bullied and you don’t do anything to help them then it will just continue and may get worse. People who are being bullied can feel really distressed and it can have a serious impact on their life and health. In very serious cases bullying could lead to self harming, or even suicidal thoughts. Often other people at school don’t realize the effect that bullying has when it goes on day in day out. If the bullying involves violence or threats, or if you think your classmate is in danger of getting hurt or harming herself, talk to an adult about it right away.

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

Halloween Candy & Your Teeth! | SACK of Corona, Ca

Halloween CandyDid you know that pure sugar is better than sticky caramel(WHAT?!), and dark chocolate is always a winner. Everything in moderation is typically okay and of course brushing your teeth (or at least rinsing your mouth with water) after enjoying your Halloween candy is always a great idea!

Below are a few tips for happy Halloween teeth from the worst to best choices in holiday candy:

WORST: Taffy and candies filled with caramel, coconut, or nuts are the worst kinds of candy for teeth because they stick to everything inside of your mouth, including the grooves of your teeth. The longer a food sticks to your teeth, the longer bacteria can feed on it–which could produce cavity-causing acid.

SECOND WORST: Hard candy like lollipops or jawbreakers, are almost as bad.  Although they do not stick to your mouth, they take a long time to dissolve.  The longer a food stays in your mouth, the more acidic your mouth becomes. 

PRETTY BAD: Sour candy is also bad for your teeth because it has a higher acidic content, which can break down tooth enamel. While powdery candy such as Pixie Stix dissolve quickly in the mouth and don’t require chewing, they contain nothing but sugar and can lead to cavities by changing the mouth’s PH and giving bacteria straight sugar to eat.

NOT SO BAD: Chocolate, with no sticky fillings, will generally not stick to your teeth and therefore is a much better option if you’re craving something sweet.

BEST: Sugar-free gum may be the best treat this Halloween season because it leaves no sticky residue, and it is sweetened with xylitol–a natural sugar the bacteria is unable to form plaque on(Source: parenting.com). 

Because there is never a candy deficiency around Halloween, it is important to be aware of the lasting negative effects Halloween candy can have on your teeth. Excessive intake of these candy can lead to tooth decay, cavities, and loss of enamel. Be sure to always brush your teeth after eating candy to ensure no surprise visits at the dentist! Nobody wants to see the dentist pull out that drill! Eek!

Have a safe Halloween, everyone!

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

World Kindness Youth Conference (W.K.Y.C.) Celebrates 9 Years! | Corona, CA

simple acts of care and kindness

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simple Acts of Care and Kindness kicked off its annual World Kindness Youth Conference again this year at Crossroads Christian Church.  This two-day event gets bigger and better each year and the singers, speakers and sensitivity camp exhibits were amazing!

A huge “Thank you” to all of our 4th graders and teachers who participated in the event as well as all of our volunteers who make this event happen.  We couldn’t do it without you.

The W.K.Y.C. was first held in 2004 and uses seminars and activities to help students learn the many areas of life into which care and kindness can be inserted. Seminars and discussion groups dealing with bullying and other relationship topics fill the morning. After lunch, students visit exhibitors who have come with messages about care and kindness for themselves (staying health with good food and physical activity), their family (anger management, safety, emergency procedures at home), their community (programs for the developmentally disabled, helping keep parks clean and green…), and their world (recycling, planting trees…).

Contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness today at 866-459-7225 or visit our website for more information.

Simple Acts of Care and Kindness proudly serves Norco, Riverside, Lake Elsinore, San Bernardino, Eastvale and surrounding areas.

 

What can be done to help someone who is being bullied? | Norco, CA

Support a child who is being bullied:

  • You can listen to the child and let him or her know you are available to talk or even help. A child who is being bullied may struggle talking about it. Consider letting the child know there are other people who can talk with him or her about bullying.
  • Give the child advice about what he or she can do. You might want to include role-playing and acting out a bullying incident as you guide the child so that the child knows what to do in a real situation.
  • Follow up with the child to show that you are committed to helping put a stop to the bullying.

Address the bullying behavior:

  • Make sure a child whom you suspect or know is bullying knows what the problem behavior is and why it is not acceptable.
  • Show kids that bullying is taken seriously. If you know someone is being a bully to someone else, tell the bully that bullying will not be tolerated! It is important, however, to demonstrate good behavior when speaking with a bully so that you serve as a role model of good interpersonal behavior.

If you feel that you have taken all possible steps to prevent bullying and nothing has worked, or someone is in immediate danger, there are other ways for you to help.

The problem

What you can do

A crime has occurred or someone is at immediate risk of harm. Call 911.
Someone is feeling hopeless, helpless, or thinking of suicide. Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline online or at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). This toll-free call goes to the nearest crisis center in a national network. These centers provide crisis counseling and mental health referrals.
Someone is acting differently, such as sad or anxious, having trouble completing tasks, or not taking care of themselves. Find a local counselor or other mental health services.
A child is being bullied in school. Contact the:

  • Teacher
  • School counselor
  • School coach
  • School principal
  • School superintendent
  • Board of Education
Child is being bullied after school on the playground or in the neighborhood
  • Neighborhood watch
  • Playground security
  • Team coach
  • Local precinct/community police
The child’s school is not addressing the bullying Contact the:

  • School superintendent
  • Local Board of Education
  • State Department of Education

 

“One’s dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked, but it can never be taken away unless it is surrendered.”
― Michael J. Fox, Actor

 

 

For more information about how you can help call us at 866-459-7225 or visit our website at http://simpleacts.org

S.A.C.K. also proudly serves Corona, Riverside, Norco, San Bernardino, and surrounding areas.

Bully Intervention- When YOU see or hear bullying . . . | Riverside, CA

When YOU see or hear bullying . . .

Intervene immediately. When you do nothing, you send the message that bullying is  acceptable. If you ignore or minimize the issue, victims will not believe that adults understand or care, or that they can help. If you don’t intervene, children won’t either.

Intervene even if you’re not sure it’s bullying. Observing children’s actions, words, body language, and facial expressions will help you determine if bullying is occurring. Even if it’s not, aggressive behaviors need to be stopped.

Stand between or near the victim and the bully, separating them if necessary, so as to stop the bullying behaviors. For young children, consider removing them from the situation to a “time-out” area or room.

Respond firmly but appropriately. Remain calm, but convey the seriousness of the situation. Announce that the bullying must stop. Describe the behavior you observed and why it is unacceptable.

Get help if needed. If the bully is using physical force, or there is more than one bully, you may need to find another adult to help keep children safe and protect yourself.

Do not respond aggressively. Using aggressive behavior sends the wrong message that this is a good way to solve problems. It may also prompt a bully or a bystander to increase his or her bullying behavior or become aggressive toward you.

Avoid lecturing the bully in front of his or her peers. Your goal is to end the behavior, not humiliate or shame the bully. Rather than serving as a deterrent, lecturing and scolding often provide the bully with attention that he or she finds rewarding.

Don’t impose immediate consequences. Allow yourself time to consider the incident and obtain any clarifying information—then decide the best course of action.

Don’t ask children to “work things out” for themselves.  Bullying is different from an argument or conflict; it involves a power imbalance that requires adult intervention.

Give praise and show appreciation to helpful bystanders.  Children who try to help the victim or stop the bully are key to bullying prevention.

Stick around. Remain in the area until you are sure the behavior has stopped.

“Go ahead, bully me; but in 30 years, the only thing people will remember is that I am your boss”
― J.E. Allotey, Author

For more information about how you can help call us at 866-459-7225 or visit our website at http://simpleacts.org

There are 5 reasons kids may not ask for help when being bullied | San Bernardino, CA

Most people reading this information right now know a child who has stayed home from school this week because they were afraid of being bullied – but you may not realize it. The estimations are that an average of 160,000 students around the country stay home daily out of fear of being bullied each day. But adults, for many of reasons, have no idea that the bullying is taking place.

For those parents and adults who may be wondering why the children are not telling them that they are bullied, there are 5 universal reasons:

  1. They have been taught not to tattle and often think that they are tattling on the bully. It is vitally important that children learn the difference between tattling about unimportant things and telling someone when bullying is taking place.
  2. Children may fear retaliation especially if they tell an adult they are being bullied. While the adult may be able to address the issue with the child doing the bullying, there will probably be another time right around the corner when the adult is there to help. Children may fear that things could escalate if the issue is addressed.
  3. Some children feel that they will not be listened to and that the issue will not be believed. They think that they will tell an adult and that person will not believe them or will suggest that maybe they did something to bring the bullying on themselves.
  4. A majority of children believe that telling an adult does nothing to stop the bullying. Sadly, research tends to support this thought. Many adults don’t do anything about the bullying, or they simply brush it off.  Often kids are told to “toughen up”, or “that it is just a part of growing up”. If children learn that adults won’t help, then they are not very likely to report the incidents.
  5. When children are bullied, they often feel ashamed or embarrassed. These feelings alone can keep them from reporting issues, because they don’t want people to know that they were being bullied.

Around half children who are being bullied don’t end up telling an adult that it’s happening. The more we as parents and adults can understand about the issues and address the reasons behind them not telling, the easier it will be to help solve the bullying problem our nation’s children and schools facing.

The challenges that children face when not telling adults that they are being bullied can be dealt with and defeated. This can happen by having a bully prevention program in place in every school, as well as parents and adults talking to children about bullying and the importance of telling someone in authority when it happens. It is also vitally important that when children do tell adults about bullying that it is addressed in a positive manner so that they feel confident in their decision to report it the next time it happens.

Bullying builds character like nuclear waste creates superheroes. It’s a rare occurrence and often does much more damage than endowment.”
― Zack W. Van, Author

For more information about how you can help call us at 866-459-7225 or visit our website at http://simpleacts.org

4 Easy Steps We Can All Take To Stop Bullying | San Bernardino, CA

To begin to foster a society of caring, respect, and awareness starts with a few steps that are simple but can make the biggest change possible.

1. Increasing Your Own Awareness

Recognizing when bullying is taking place is an important first step in finding solutions.  By understanding the reason and roots of the problem, you will begin to form an idea of how to start proactively working to address bullying.  This includes teasing, name-calling, shunning, and physical intimidation or assault.  Does your school, sports club, or youth group create a culture of respect, caring, and safety for everyone?  Are children supervised appropriately during recess, lunch and before and after school?  Do educators and staff have adequate support and training for addressing bullying and recognize the different forms that bullying can appear as?

2. Respond To Situations Forcefully but Respectfully

When you see bullying taking place or hear about it, remember that your reactions provide a framework for how the kids involved will respond to and understand the situation.  Children need to see adults being powerful and respectful in reacting to problems.  If adults in charge get upset and overreact, children are more likely to imitate adult actions and might even avoid telling adults about future situations.  Staying calm, respectful, and persistent will make you more effective in talking to children in bullying situations.

3. Teach Your Kids Defensive Skills

Positive peer to peer relationship skills help to put a stop to bullying.  Teach children that they have the confidence and power to walk away from any situation.  They can make safe choices like stepping out of a line or changing seats.  Sometimes all that is needed to make bullying problem stop.  Ensure that your child is active in getting help and is prepared to continue to ask for help even if an adult does not respond immediately to the situation.

4. Become Involved

Keep yourself informed as to what other parents and adults in your community are doing to stop bullying.  Insist that your child’s school and school district has a mandatory district-wide anti-bullying policy and that they educate their staff on how to stop bullying and recognizing all forms and types of youth bullying.  Write to your county- and state-level officials and tell them of the seriousness of bullying and demand they make it a top priority in their campaigns.

“I would rather be a little nobody, then to be a evil somebody.”
― Abraham Lincoln

For more information about how you can help call us at 866-459-7225 or visit our website at http://simpleacts.org

Bullying Facts and Solutions | Riverside, CA

With as much media attention as has been given to the sometimes tragic consequences of bullying, one only has to read the comments section of online articles about bullying to really see that many adults still don’t fully comprehend the negative impact that bullying has on so many children every day.

Below you will find some facts and statistics to help adults and parents come to realize bullying is a big problem for not only their community but, likewise, across the entire country.

Bullying Facts and Statistics

  • Because of bullying, 160,000 kids in the US stay home from school every day.
  • 83% of bullying incidents receive no intervention and continue to happen.
  • Bullies are four times more likely to engage in criminal behavior as an adult and often develop suicidal thoughts.
  • Male bullying more often consists of verbal and physical abuse, whereas female bullyies more commonly use more verbal abuse and social bullying by spreading of rumors.
  • Only half of educators have received training on how to handle bullying situations. That is like going to a dentist to get treated for the flu!
  • In a 2007 report it showed that nearly 80% of students who experienced bullying stated that it occurred inside the school grounds.
  • Verbal assaults amongst children more often target appearances and behaviors rather than race or religious affiliations. Often in those instances, the bullies felt that the victim was at fault for these behaviors or appearances.
  • 33.1% of middle and high school students surveyed agree or strongly agrees that teachers can stop bullying.  And 2/3 of these students are not confident that they can get help from their teachers.
  • A study conducted in 2005 showed that approximately one out of ten Internet users aged 10-17 had been the victim of cyber bullying and “on-line harassment”.  Half of victims who were bullied off-line and on-line by the same people reported being very distressed by the incidents.

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse, and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”
― Desmond Tutu

 

For more information about how you can help call us at 866-459-7225 or visit our website at http://simpleacts.org