Compass health director says reporting bullying can save a life
Compass Health provides substance use prevention services, suicide prevention services, counseling, psychiatry services and more.
Melissa Hildebrandt, the Prevention Development Director for Compass Health, said the organization provides bullying prevention presentations to schools and sees patients who have experienced bullying for counseling.
Hildebrandt travels to schools and speaks to personnel and community members about what bullying is, what the warning signs are, and how to prevent it. She said bullying awareness is crucial.
"Because bullying is so prevalent right now and there are some high profile casesm, and suicide has unfortunately become a result of that, it's super important for people to know what bullying really is, what it looks like, and what can be done if that is happening," Hildebrandt said.
Hildebrandt said it is important to be aware of how to report bullying. She said to report it to a teacher, school official, law enforcement, Missouri Department of Social Services Children's Division, and the Missouri School Violence Hotline.
"You can report it online, you can report it by text message, there is an 800 number, and there is an app. You can be anonymous. Whether you are the person actually being bullied, a parent there are options," Hildebrandt said.
Hildebrandt also said reporting bullying before it goes too far can save a life.
"Bullying can result in a lot of sad situations. We've seen several instances where bullying is the final straw in a suicide so the quicker we can report that bullying and stop it, we might be able to save a life," she said.