Bullying: Truly a Health Issue


In March 2018, the St. Joseph County Medical Society held a community wide talk including a presentation by author Sam Quinones, author of Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic which really opened the dialogue in our community. When he was asked what we could do to curb the opioid epidemic, his answer was community and he/we feel that starts with our children. In order to continue this dialogue, the St. Joseph County Medical Society hosted “Bullying: Truly a Health Issue” in September.

We are concerned with the continued rise in childhood bullying in our community and planned a two-fold event, “Bullying: Truly a Healthcare Issue”. We extended an invitation to all the area middle schools an opportunity to send Student Ambassadors to the event who in turn could provide valuable feedback to their peers. This all-day event was geared towards middle school aged children in hopes of helping them understand ways to not only handle bullying but also to learn how it affects their health! We are thrilled to say that we had over 350 students registered from 14 different area schools!

We had an exciting, informative and fun filled day planned for all the ambassadors that joined us! The day began with Gordon Korman, author of ReStart, speaking to the group. The ambassadors then each attended four breakout sessions: Staying Active, Eating Healthy, Cyber-Bullying and Drug/Opioid Abuse. This all day event was provided at no cost to area schools, including lunch! The only charge that the schools might have incurred would have been transportation.

In the evening, we held a workshop for physicians, educators, law enforcement, mental health professionals, parents, etc. Dr. James Brown led those in attendance in a discussion that included what challenges each group had in dealing with the issue of bullying in hopes of everyone coming together as a community to fight back against bullying. This portion included CME hours for physicians that attended.

This event was sponsored by:

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