Asperger syndrome and bullying

6227859819462656bully.previewI often get asked what I think is most important in protecting young people diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome (AS) from bullying. I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I do have an answer for this particular question. My answer is always this, “Proactive, trained adults are the key to successful bullying prevention.” Having said this, one of the most crucial aspects of this training must include providing adults with the information they need in order to identify individuals who are extremely high-risk for being targeted. This will enable them to more effectively prevent bullying and intervene when it occurs.

There are a lot of myths surrounding bullying. “Boys will be boys,” “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” “Bullying is just human nature, a fact of life,” “Kids can be so cruel,” and my least favorite, “We don’t allow bullying here. We have a zero tolerance policy.” The facts are less palatable. Every day 160,000 children do not go to school because they are afraid of being bullied. Moderate to severe physical and psychological symptoms and disorders can occur as a consequence of being bullied (or from taking on the role of the bully). School avoidance, refusal, and eventually withdrawal can result when children are bullied. Furthermore, there is considerable agreement among many bullying experts that zero tolerance not only doesn’t prevent bullying, it may in fact cause additional problems; including but not limited to, an increase in suspensions and expulsions and a lack of real change in the attitudes affecting school culture.

According to the research of Dr. Liza Little, 94% of children and youth with AS are bullied. Compared to studies of the general population, kids with AS are four times more by their peers or siblings. In my own experiences with facilitating a parent support group for parents of children diagnosed with AS, working as a counselor at a camp for children of all ages with AS, and other relationships and correspondence working and learning from individuals with AS, I feel the incidence of bullying is closer to 100%.

Accordingly, children and youth with AS are over represented in the 5-10% of individuals who are so frequently, chronically, and too often severely bullied and excluded that if they do not receive significant support from adults, they will most likely not be able to progress positively in school and certainly will not reach their potential.

What can adults do in light of these sobering facts? We start by truly understanding and acknowledging the vulnerability of individuals with AS and actively seeking information from them about their social experiences. Because of their high-risk status and social deficits, I feel strongly that students with AS should be given a bullying survey followed by an individual interview concerning their social experiences at school and elsewhere. Special attention should be given to whether they are experiencing any verbal, physical, or social bullying, including peer shunning. Peer shunning is the act of ignoring or excluding someone. Dr. Little identifies a high incidence of peer shunning experienced by individuals with AS, which continues to increase throughout the school years and peaks in high school. Where there is peer shunning, there is social isolation. Social isolation, or being alone, increases the risk of being bullied and decreases the likelihood of peer protection when bullying occurs.

In my book, Perfect Targets: Asperger Syndrome and Bullying–Practical Solutions for Surviving the Social World, I included a modified bullying survey called the “Modified Inventory of Wrongful Activities.” This survey states questions clearly and concisely, using examples to help clarify the intent of social language and nonverbal communication. Unfortunately, some individuals with AS are not even aware when that they are being bullied because of their social naivety and impaired social cognition. As a result, adults must be exceptionally vigilant in their observations and be willing to do additional detective work when problems occur involving the social arena. It has been my experience that sometimes well-meaning adults are often too quick to point out a social error the child with AS has made when such issues occur. This may contribute to further victimization because individuals with AS are very likely to make social blunders or errors because of the innate characteristics of their disability. Since many people who experience chronic, frequent bullying carry a lot of self-blame and shame, we must be careful not to add on any further blame and shame. We cannot expect the most vulnerable, least empowered individual, the child with AS who is being bullied, to fix the problem.

Another critical aspect of our adult role in bullying prevention is to address low-level bullying when it occurs in our presence or is reported to us. When low-level bullying is ignored or even encouraged, it implies acceptance and further victimizes the targeted child. It also creates a heightened sense of hopelessness and feeds the tendency of children not to go to adults for help. A few examples of low-level bullying are name-calling, other types of put-downs, nonverbal gestures and “dirty” looks, and intentionally leaving someone out of a group activity. These are common occurrences in the school environment and only a sampling of the types of bullying children experience. Unfortunately, research indicates that adults almost always underestimate the extent and impact of bullying compared to what students report they are experiencing. Research also indicates a “culture of silence” where children do not report bullying and hold low expectations for the amount of support and help adults will give them. Obviously, we need to be more diligent in our awareness of bullying and our responses when it occurs or is reported to us.

An equally important adult responsibility is to make sure that we model the behaviors we require from our students or our own children. Efforts to impact the behavior and attitudes of our children will fail miserably if we as adults do not hold ourselves to the same or higher levels of respect and accountability. The use of sarcasm is a common type of adult bullying and though it may be useful in the short term at controlling behavior, it comes at the expense of humiliating and angering our youth. For children with AS who may already be experiencing bullying by their peers and have less social support, this can create even more vulnerability and may contribute to them becoming a scapegoat for an entire class or school community. Adult acceptance, support, and protection are extremely critical for any child in this situation. Having an adult take action, take a stand, or even take an interest in this child can make all the difference. Bullying prevention programs are not just programs for kids. Adults play a key role. We have a long way to go before we can expect our children to trust that we are committed to making a difference where bullying is concerned, but the stakes are high and it is worth the effort. Students who are bullied are less likely to succeed in school and are more likely to experience potentially serious psychological and/or physical consequences, including contemplating or committing suicide, as a result of being bullied. It matters less what we say; what matters most is what we do.

Rebekah Heinrichs M.S.N., M.S. Ed. earned a Master’s degree in pediatric nursing (University of Kentucky, 1982) and a Master’s degree in special education/autism and Asperger Syndrome (University of Kansas, 2001) and is the author of Perfect Targets: Asperger Syndrome and Bullying–Practical Solutions for Surviving the Social World

Rebekah Heinrichs M.S.N., M.S. Ed. Courtesy of APPC

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The Wonderful Grand Band

wgb_3Now to relax a little and reminisce (for me anyway) The Wonderful Grand Band is a Canadian music and comedy group formed in 1977 in St. John’s Newfoundland & Labrador Also so they not get lost in the files of time. I had the pleasure of taking in a number of their performances at the Strann Lounge in the Avalon Mall during the early 80′s while living and working there.

They had many great shows and I got to meet one personally through another friend I met while in St John’s Richard Hiscock (whom have since pass on from AIDS). That was none other than the late Great LGBT personality Tommy Sexton, whom we also lost to AIDS in 1993. So I want to introduce you to WGB here and now and feature a few of my favorites, starting with Tommy Sexton doing lead vocals on Babylon Mall, this guy was too funny and the life of the party for sure.


 R.I.P. Tommy Sexton July 3, 1957 - December 13, 1993

R.I.P. Tommy Sexton July 3, 1957 – December 13, 1993

The Wonderful Grand Band, Newfoundland’s tremendously popular trad-rock band from the 1980s was conceived in 1977 for The Root Seller, a six-part mini-series produced by CBC St John’s. The show was written by Codco alumni Greg Malone, Mary Walsh and White and hosted by Greg Malone and Mary Walsh as Mr and Mrs Budgell, characters from the CODCO stage shows. The Root Seller had special weekly guests including Emile Benoit, Rufus Guinchard, Minnie White, Cathy Jones, and Jimmy Oulton. It was an instant local favourite but only two of these shows, with special guests Minnie White and Emile Benoit, survived at the CBC. The musicians on The Root Seller were – Kelly Russell, Sandy Morris, Ron Hynes, Glenn Simmons, Rocky Wiseman, Bryan Hennessey and Bawnie Oulton.

After The Root Seller the Band continued to play live dates but in 1978, Hennessey and Oulton left to pursue other interests, Kelly Russell was replaced by Jamie Snider, Paul Boomer Stamp took over on drums and Ian Perry became the bass player. Greg Malone re-joined the Band, this time for a live stage show which debuted at Toronto Caravan. This incarnation proved to be wildly successful and in 1979 Tommy Sexton joined Malone to complete the team that fronted the show until the WGB finally split in 1983.

The series WGB with Malone and Sexton which followed in 1980 was the most popular show in Newfoundland television history, beating all the competing American shows and even the News in the ratings. The Wonderful Grand Band toured Newfoundland and Canada extensively from 1978 to 1984 and built up an enormous fan base that has been loyal and appreciative all these years.

During the television years the WGB had several cast changes including Steve Annan on guitar, Howie Warden on bass, Kevin McNeil on drums and Cathy Jones and Mary Walsh in the comedy act for the final performance year.
The Wonderful Grand Band recorded two music albums, the Wonderful Grand Band recorded at Clode Sound in Stephenville in 1978 and Living In A Fog recorded in Toronto in 1981. Living In A Fog was released on CD in 2007 and is still selling strong, and the Band’s first album will be released on CD in 2010.

thebandThe WGB’s release of two volumes of the original TV Series on DVD came after years of consultation and planning with CBC where the shows were originally produced in the 1980′s. The DVDs, The Best of WGB Volume 1 and 2, released in November of 2009 were a sensational success bringing to life once again some all-time favourite characters like Mr. Budgell, Nanny Hynes, Dickie, Mavis and Carmel Ann, and included many of the classic hit songs like Sonny’s Dream and Living In A Fog, Go For Love, UIC and the sensational Babylon Mall which features the inimitable style of the late, great, and ever-missed Tommy Sexton. The release and tour were undertaken in part as a tribute to Tommy.
The sold-out reunion tour in 2009 featured Greg Malone, Ron Hynes, Sandy Morris Glenn Simmons Jamie Snider, Ian Perry Paul “Boomer” Stamp.

The WGB plans to release two more Volumes of the TV series, The Best of WGB Volume 3 (from the first year’s TV show which features Rocky Wiseman) and Volume 4 (which also stars Cathy Jones, Mary Walsh, Steve Annan and Howie Warden).The WGB is managed by White. you can visit their official site here.
I want to leave you with a example of who they were with a closer look at an episode of CODCO, but you may have to fast forward as the space is included for commercials, worth the watch though and you are sure to get a laugh. cheers :-)


Vote for change: UN’s My World campaign

UNDP and JCI delegates pictured with Mr Ahmed Kathrada

UNDP and JCI delegates pictured with Mr Ahmed Kathrada

The United Nations My World initiative is a global survey that invites citizens of the planet to vote on how they would like to change the world for the better.

My World asks individuals which six out of 16 possible issues they think would make the most difference to their lives. People of all ages, genders and backgrounds are invited to vote, which will ultimately help inform world leaders as they begin drafting the next global development agenda.

The campaign was launched to local media at the Nelson Mandela Foundation on Thursday 17 July 2014.

Some 2.75-million people have already voted (see analytics here), profiling what matters most to them in their world.

“UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is committed to making the process of drafting the next global development agenda as inclusive as possible. The aim is to involve all citizens in profiling key aspirations for the future,” said Dr Agostinho Zacarias, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident.

UNDP delegates pictured with Mr Ahmed Kathrada

UNDP delegates pictured with Mr Ahmed Kathrada

Corinne Woods, Global Director of the UN Millennium Campaign, spoke about My World as a platform that drives global engagement.

“The survey aims to listen to the voices of ordinary people and brings them to a worldwide decision-making process. It is individuals that will help define priorities for the path to 2030,” she said.

What is top priority for the world’s citizens?

According to the votes captured thus far, the world’s citizens think the following four aspects are most important:

  1. A good education
  2. Better healthcare
  3. Better job opportunities
  4. An honest and responsive government.

“In South Africa, the votes indicate that what matters most is a good education and protection against crime and violence,” said Woods.

Corinne Woods profiled My World as a platform that drives global engagement

Corinne Woods profiled My World as a platform that drives global engagement

William More and Sage Martin drive the My World outreach and research programme. They have engaged with communities in over 15 countries, walking the streets and asking people what matters most to them. They table the stories they have been told on the Humans of My World Facebook page.

“We cannot lose sight of the fact that it is the power of the human individual and the human story that changes hearts and incites people to come together and fight for change,” quoted Martin.

The president of Junior Chamber International (JCI) South Africa, Linda Ben, said the survey speaks to the heart of active citizenry.

“We need to understand that in order to effect positive change, we have to empower ourselves and our communities. Lend your voice to the UN campaign and help shape the world we live in,” she said.

Luvuyo Mandela urged young people to engage with the platforms available to co-create a world they want to live in

Luvuyo Mandela urged young people to engage with the platforms available to co-create a world they want to live in

Luvuyo Mandela urged young people to engage with the platforms available to co-create a world they want to live in

“Gone are the days for ordinary citizens to be seen and not heard – and for the youth to be seen and not heard,” said Luvuyo Mandela. “Today we have incredible resources at hand that are asking us to help shape the world of our dreams.

“It’s time for us as young people to come together and debate about what matters most to us. It’s time for us ask how we can best make ourselves heard.”

Mandela urged young people to engage with the platforms available to co-create a world they want to live in.

To find out more about the UN My World survey, please visit

To cast your vote, visit


International Mandela Day

On this day, 18 July 1918 Nelson Mandela was born in Mvezo, Transkei madiba-birthday

mandeladayHelp spread the word and get ideas for how you can take action at:

General Assembly Speical meeting dedicated to the life and memory of His Excellency Nelson Mandela
19 Dec 2013 - Speakers: GA President John W. Ashe, H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General, H.E. Mr. Kingsley Mamabolo, Permanent Representative of the Mission of South Africa to the UN, Mr. David Dinkins, Former New York City Mayor, and Speakers: GA President John W. Ashe, H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General, H.E. Mr. Kingsley Mamabolo, Permanent Representative of the Mission of South Africa to the UN, Mr. David Dinkins, Former New York City Mayor, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu (via video).


Why Mental Illness Is As Serious As This Life-Threatening Disease

5627407151136768How are we feeling- - - Gmail.clipularI have a close friend who has an anxiety disorder. They wrestle with it every day. Every morning, they wake up with their heart pounding like the drums of war before they march onto the battlefield of routine. Sometimes, they are able to take their medication and rise out of bed, completing every motion with enough heart to fool the rest of the world into thinking that they are normal. Other times, they can’t make it out of bed for the performance. Fear, dread, sorrow, acceptance, repeat. This is what they have to deal with every day.

The battle to go through the daily motions isn’t the only one my friend is fighting. They are constantly bombarded by the attitudinal beliefs of their peers, the yawns and sighs that come from the people around them as they try desperately to explain the source of their desperation. “Why don’t you just relax?” say the people at work. “It’s not that big of a deal.” My friend pretends to listen and continues the motions. Fear, dread, sorrow, acceptance, repeat.

A few years back, I had another friend who was battling cancer. They were young, vibrant, and on the surface, completely healthy. In the length of a single breath, everything changed. Their daily routine of rise, drive, work, drive, sleep, repeat was interrupted by hospital visits. Every day, they had to live with knowledge that death was not a fable. After countless hours of chemo treatments and months of pretending that it was fine for the world to go on without them, they learned that they were in remission. They would always have to stay vigilant, but their old routine could finally return.

  • My two friends had a few things in common. First of all, they were both suffering from something their peers could not understand. The second thing was that they lived in constant fear of death. The third was that their illnesses would always have to be monitored.

Despite the similarities that they shared, there was one stark difference between them. Not once did a peer tell my friend with cancer to “get over it” or that what they were going through “wasn’t that bad.” My friend with the anxiety disorder, however, had to hear that every day.

I have never been through cancer treatments, nor have I been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. I am, however, engaged in a life-long battle with Hemochromatosis, a disease that can lead to everything from cancer to heart failure. Like both of my friends, I receive treatments for my condition and am constantly monitored for any changes that could prove to be damaging to my health. However, like my friend with the anxiety disorder, I have been told on several occasions to “get over it.”

Before I continue, I would like to say that I do not know what it is like to go through cancer treatments, nor would I say that what I have gone through is comparable. What I would like to speak to in this parallel is the attitudes of others. Though anxiety disorders and Hemochromatosis are not the same as Cancer, they are both afflictions that affect lives in a traumatic way. It would be considered heartless to tell a person with Cancer to get over themselves, and I think that it’s time for the same to apply to all other life-affecting disorders.

One reason why nobody would dare to make light of a person’s battle with cancer is that many have taken the time to inform themselves of the nature of the disease. Nowadays, everyone will be touched by cancer in one way or another, weather it be with a family member or on a more personal basis. We have campaigns to raise money and awareness for all forms of Cancer, and there are several Hollywood films that portray what it is like to be living with the disease.

When it comes to other diseases and disorders, however, be they depression, bipolar, Hemochromatosis, Pernicious Anemia, or CADASIL, there isn’t always enough information gathered by the media to raise the proper awareness. There aren’t a lot of Hollywood movies that portray what it’s like living with some of these lesser known afflictions, and although the topic of #mentalhealth has become more prevalent in all forms of media, there is still a general idea that these things can be easily controlled with a few simple words. I am hoping that in the days to come, there will be better understanding as to how much good “control” does to a body that is fighting a seemingly endless battle.

All diseases and disorders affect the afflicted to some degree. When I was first diagnosed, I went through months of depression and anxiety as I tried to come to terms with the prospect that I would never be “normal” again. I lost friends in the process, friends who claimed that I was being “dramatic” because they never bothered to see that understanding the prognosis of a chronic illness takes time. It didn’t matter what I had. The point was that it affected me, and the same was true for my dear friend with the anxiety disorder.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to empathize with your fellow human beings. If a person is suffering from something that you don’t understand, it doesn’t mean that their suffering is invalid. A person can’t judge the anxieties of another person based on the scope of their own experience. Each human being is an individual, so take the time to inform yourself. If a friend is diagnosed with a disease that affects their every day lives in any capacity, do your best to be compassionate and ask them how you can help. Even if they don’t have an answer, they will appreciate the time that you took to show that you care.

I have profound love and respect for anyone working through a chronic illness, whether it be physical or mental. In time, it is my prayer that people will find compassion to be infinitely more impelling than the prospect of tough love, Lauren Messervey – Writer


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UNAIDS Asia-Pacific at #AIDS2014

Featured Image -- 13480

Originally posted on UNAIDS Asia-Pacific:

The 20th International AIDS Conference, starts this Sunday in Melbourne.

It’s a jam-packed programme, but if you’re interested in finding out about HIV in Asia and the Pacific as a region or in specific countries, we’ve compiled some of the highlights here. This is not a comprehensive list, so make sure you check out the full programme at

Our team will be flying the flag for Asia and the Pacific and you can catch them at the following sessions and events.

See Steve Kraus, UNAIDS RST Director, Asia & the Pacific

Steve Kraus

See J.V.R.Prasada Rao, UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for AIDS in the Asia-Pacific, at AIDS2014

prasada rao

See James Chau, UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador

James Chau

See Gautam Yadav, UNAIDS Youth Advisory Forum Board Member

Gautam Yadav

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Adult Bully’s “The Five Types”


I am re-blogging this post which I origanally posted Feb 21, 2013, as there are others that need re-posting as well, this being the first. “Adult Bully’s The Five Types”, the one we are dealing with 90% of the time is number one, The Narcissistic Adult Bully, please read the description below: “You may not hear a lot about adult bullying, but it is a problem. Read this article to learn more about different types of adult bullies and get some ideas on how to deal with an adult bully. Adult bullying is a serious problem and may require legal action. One would think that as people mature and progress through life, that they would stop behaviors of their youth. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Sadly, adults can be bullies, just as children and teenagers can be bullies. While adults are more likely to use verbal bullying as opposed to physical bullying, the fact of the matter is that adult bullying exists. The goal of an adult bully is to gain power over another person, and make himself or herself the dominant adult. They try to humiliate victims, and “show them who is boss.” There are several different types of adult bullies, and it helps to know how they operate:

  1. Narcissistic Adult Bully
  2. first-place

    This type of adult bully is self-centered and does not share empathy with others. Additionally, there is little anxiety about consequences. He or she seems to feel good about him or herself, but in reality has a brittle narcissism that requires putting others down.

  3. Impulsive Adult Bully:
  4. 2nd-place

    Adult bullies in this category are more spontaneous and plan their bullying out less. Even if consequences are likely, this adult bully has a hard time restraining his or her behavior. In some cases, this type of bullying may be unintentional, resulting in periods of stress, or when the bully is actually upset or concerned about something unconnected with the victim.

  5. Physical Bully:
  6. third4While adult bullying rarely turns to physical confrontation, there are, nonetheless, bullies that use physicality. In some cases, the adult bully may not actually physically harm the victim, but may use the threat of harm, or physical domination through looming. Additionally, a physical bully may damage or steal a victim’s property, rather than physically confronting the victim.

  7. Verbal Adult Bully:
  8. 4thWords can be quite damaging. Adult bullies who use this type of tactic may start rumors about the victim, or use sarcastic or demeaning language to dominate or humiliate another person. This subtle type of bullying also has the advantage – to the bully – of being difficult to document. However, the emotional and psychological impacts of verbal bullying can be felt quite keenly and can result in reduced job performance and even depression.

  9. Secondary Adult Bully:

2pm153-hr904-2This is someone who does not initiate the bullying, but joins in so that he or she does not actually become a victim down the road. Secondary bullies may feel bad about what they are doing, but are more concerned about protecting themselves. (Definitions courtesy of Bullying Statistics

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UN rights chief warns of ‘disturbing lack of transparency’ for digital mass surveillance


High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay.  UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras

High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay.
UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras

16 July 2014 – The top United Nations human rights official today warned of the “disturbing” lack of transparency in governmental surveillance policies and practices, “including de facto coercion of private sector companies to provide sweeping access to information and data relating to private individuals without the latter’s knowledge or consent.”

“This is severely hindering efforts to ensure accountability for any resulting human rights violations, or even to make us aware that such violations are taking place, despite a clear international legal framework laying down Governments’ obligations to protect our right to privacy,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay said in Geneva today.

Introducing a report compiled by her Office entitled, The Right to Privacy in the Digital Age, she stressed the need for vigilance and procedural safeguards against governmental surveillance programmes.

“The onus is on the State to demonstrate that such interference is neither arbitrary nor unlawful,” Ms. Pillay said, noting that article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states that “no one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his or her privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his or her honour and reputation.”

According to the report, to be presented this October to the Human Rights Council and the UN General Assembly, governmental mass surveillance is “emerging as a dangerous habit rather than an exceptional measure” and practices in many States reveal “a lack of adequate national legislation and/or enforcement, weak procedural safeguards, and ineffective oversight.”

The High Commissioner’s report points out that the secret nature of specific surveillance powers brings with it a greater risk of arbitrary exercise of discretion which, in turn, demands greater precision in the rule governing the exercise of discretion, as well as additional oversight. Therefore, States must establish independent methods to monitor such surveillance one that include administrative, judicial and parliamentary branches of government.

“The involvement of all branches of Government in the oversight in surveillance programmes, as well as of an independent civilian oversight agency, is essential to ensure the effective protection of the law,” the report states, noting that when conducted in compliance with the law, including international human rights law, surveillance can be effective for legitimate law enforcement or intelligence purposes.

On the role of the private sector, the report points to strong evidence of a growing reliance by Governments on enterprises to conduct and facilitate digital surveillance and warns that a company that supplies data to the State “risks being complicit in or otherwise involved with human rights abuses.”

When faced with Government demands for access to data, enterprises are expected to honour the principles of human rights. This can mean interpreting such demands as narrowly as possible, seeking clarification from a Government with regard to the scope and legal foundation for the demand, requiring a court order before meeting government requests for data, and communicating transparently with users about risks and compliance with the demands.

“The complexity of the challenges to the right to privacy in this rapidly and dramatically evolving digital age is going to require constant scrutiny and dialogue between all key sectors,” Ms. Pillay said, adding that at stake are some incredibly important principles which go right to the core of each and every individual’s rights.
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Don’t Let Stress Control You!

Originally posted on starpointcounselingcenter:


We are bound to feel stressed every once in a while, we can’t avoid it. But we do have a choice in how to handle it when it comes our way. Everyone deals with stress differently, you may have to experiment with many coping methods in order to find what works best for you.

Consider these four points below, they might help decrease the amount of stress and change the way you perceive it:

1. Nothing and no one can MAKE you feel anything. How you feel and deal with a situation is 100% your choice. We can’t control the actions of others but we can control our own reactions. If the situation is something that you can change then begin thinking about positive ways you can handle it, if it is not something you can change then you must accept it for what it is and find ways to cope.

2. Exchange…

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United Nations: Ratification of 18 International Human Rights Treaties

What is the most ratified human rights treaty? Which one did your country ratify? Find out using our NEW interactive dashboard on the status of ratification of International Human Rights Treaties:
Now lets take a closer look at just how much “value” Canada and the Harpercons have in Human Rights, according to the United Nations list of Ratified Human Rights Treaties, let it be known Canada doesn’t fair so well, all States need to take another look, try the second time around, looking with your “Heart” click here or the link above and see which ones your country Ratified.

I am including a list of the 5 out of 18 International Human Rights Treaties that Canada has currently Ratified and or Signed:

  1. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: 1976, Signature: NA, Ratification/Accession 1976
    • 29 October 1979
      “The Government of Canada declares, under article 41 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, that it recognizes the competence of the Human Rights Committee referred to in article 28 of the said Covenant to receive and consider communications submitted by another State Party, provided that such State Party has, not less than twelve months prior to the submission by it of a communication relating to Canada, made a declaration under article 41 recognizing the competence of the Committee to receive and consider communications relating to itself.”
  2. Convention against Torture and other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading treatment or Punishment: 1987 Signature: 1985, Ratification/Accession: 1987
    • 13 November 1989
      “The Government of Canada declares that it recognizes the competence of the Committee Against Torture, pursuant to article 21 of the said Convention, to receive and consider communications to the effect that a state party claims that another state party is not fulfilling its obligations under this Convention.
      “The Government of Canada also declares that it recognizes the competence of the Committee Against Torture, pursuant to article 22 of the said Convention, to receive and consider communications from or on behalf of individuals subject to its jurisdiction who claim to be victims of a violation by a state party of the provisions of the Convention.”
  3. Convention on the Rights of The Child: Signature: 1990, Ratification/Accession: 1991
    • Reservations:
      “(i) Article 21 With a view to ensuring full respect for the purposes and intent of article 20 (3) and article 30 of the Convention, the Government of Canada reserves the right not to apply the provisions of article 21 to the extent that they may be inconsistent with customary forms of care among aboriginal peoples in Canada. “(ii) Article 37 (c) The Government of Canada accepts the general principles of article 37 (c) of the Convention, but reserves the right not to detain children separately from adults where this is not appropriate or feasible. Statement of understanding: “Article 30 It is the understanding of the Government of Canada that, in matters relating to aboriginal peoples of Canada, the fulfilment of its responsibilities under article 4 of the Convention must take into account the provisions of article 30. In particular, in assessing what measures are appropriate to implement the rights recognized in the Convention for aboriginal children, due regard must be paid to not denying their right, in community with other members of their group, to enjoy their own culture, to profess and practice their own religion and to use their own language.”
  4. Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of Children in Armed conflict: 2002 Signature: 2000, Ratification/Accession 2000
    • Declaration:
      “Pursuant to article 3, paragraph 2, of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on Involvement of Children in Armed Conflicts, Canada hereby declares: 1. The Canadian Armed Forces permit voluntary recruitment at the minimum age of 16 years. 2. The Canadian Armed Forces have adopted the following safeguards to ensure that recruitment of personnel under the age of 18 years is not forced or coerced: (a) all recruitment of personnel in the Canadian Forces is voluntary. Canada does not practice conscription or any form of forced or obligatory service. In this regard, recruitment campaigns of the Canadian Forces are informational in nature. If an individual wishes to enter the Canadian Forces, he or she fills in an application. If the Canadian Forces offer a particular position to the candidate, the latter is not obliged to accept the position; (b ) recruitment of personnel under the age of 18 is done with the informed and written consent of the person’s parents or legal guardians. Article 20, paragraph 3, of the National Defence Act states that ‘a person under the age of eighteen years shall not be enrolled without the consent of one of the parents or the guardian of that person’, (c) personnel under the age of 18 are fully informed of the duties involved in military service. The Canadian Forces provide, among other things, a series of informational brochures and films on the duties involved in military service to those who wish to enter the Canadian Forces; and (d) personnel under the age of 18 must provide reliable proof of age prior to acceptance into national military service. An applicant must provide a legally recognized document, that is an original or a certified copy of their birth certificate or baptismal certificate, to prove his or her age.”
  5. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: 2000 Signature: 2007, Ratification/Accession: 2010
    • Declaration and reservation:
      “Canada recognises that persons with disabilities are presumed to have legal capacity on an equal basis with others in all aspects of their lives. Canada declares its understanding that Article 12 permits supported and substitute decision-making arrangements in appropriate circumstances and in accordance with the law. To the extent Article 12 may be interpreted as requiring the elimination of all substitute decision-making arrangements, Canada reserves the right to continue their use in appropriate circumstances and subject to appropriate and effective safeguards. With respect to Article 12 (4), Canada reserves the right not to subject all such measures to regular review by an independent authority, where such measures are already subject to review or appeal. Canada interprets Article 33 (2) as accommodating the situation of federal states where the implementation of the Convention will occur at more than one level of government and through a variety of mechanisms, including existing ones.”

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United Nations “Join our International Youth Day…”

5963225073975296Do you want to commemorate International Youth Day, but are unsure how? Then take a read through our IYD toolkit for some ideas to get you started!

International Youth Day
International Youth Day is commemorated on 12 August each year. UN DESA encourages all young people, youth structures, and civil society to celebrate and commemorate International Youth Day in a variety of ways. Many of you already have ideas or plans on what you want to do, but for those of you who aren’t quite sure, take a read through some of the ideas below!

Join our campaign
You can help commemorate IYD with the simple click of a button! Join our online campaign running from 12 June- 12 August 2014. Use the to help spread the wo #MentalHealthMatters rd and reduce stigma surrounding youth with mental health conditions. Join our event page on Facebook to learn more about the campaign and how you can get involved.
We’ll be collecting submissions in the form of artwork, stories, and photos to be included in our celebrations on 12 August. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest to find out more! #MentalHealthMatters #UN4Youth

Organize an Event or Activity
One visible and interactive way to commemorate International Youth Day is by organising an event or activity in your school or community. Whether its 5 or 500 people, you can help celebrate the Day. Work with your youth structure, school or with some friends and/or colleagues to brainstorm about the type of event you want. From a discussion, to performance, online to offline, the possibilities are endless. Below are some suggested activities for you to consider: Seminars, lectures and debates: Initiate round table discussions among adults and young people to promote intergenerational understanding and partnerships on the issue of how to overcome stigma surrounding youth with mental health conditions.

To find out more, click here to view the Toolkit.

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Webinar: Perspectives on LGBT Suicide Prevention

hands-imgA webinar on the Prevention of LGBT Suicide and the Role of Health Professionals and Religious/Spiritual Advisors

Despite some improvements in public attitudes toward gay marriages and greater acceptance of homosexuality, disparities in suicide ideation and attempts between LGBT and heterosexual youth persist. New research indicates that few LGBT people sought help prior to attempting suicide and when LGBT people did seek help it was not effective in preventing suicide attempts. Further, counseling from a religious or spiritual advisor was associated with worse outcomes. Compared with individuals who did not seek help at all, those who sought help from a religious or spiritual advisor were more likely later to attempt suicide. Black LGBTs were also more likely than White or Latino LGBTs to seek treatment in religious or spiritual settings prior to a suicide attempt.


Ilan H. Meyer, Ph.D., Williams Senior Scholar of Public Policy, Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law
Abbe Land, Executive Director, The Trevor Project
Ann Haas, Ph.D., Senior Consultant, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Rev. Delman Coates, Ph.D., Senior Pastor, Mt. Ennon Baptist Church

Peter Goldblum, Ph.D., Professor, Director of the Center for LGBTQ Evidence-based Applied Research (CLEAR), Palo Alto University

Dr. Meyer will summarize recent research showing that, at least in the past, few LGBT people sought help prior to attempting suicide and when LGBT people did seek help it was not effective in preventing suicide attempts. Study respondents who sought mental health or medical treatment at some time prior to their suicide attempt (or, among those who did not attempt suicide, prior to the age when suicide might have been attempted) were as likely as respondents who did not seek any mental health treatment to have a suicide attempt or serious suicide attempt after this time. However, counseling from a religious or spiritual advisor was associated with worse outcomes. Compared with individuals who did not seek help at all, those who sought help from a religious or spiritual advisor were more likely later to attempt suicide.

Ms. Land will discuss the role of professionals and trained peer counselors in suicide prevention, especially related to LGBT youth. She will also describe preventive trainings, programs, and model policies offered by The Trevor Project, the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBT and questioning young people ages 13-24.

Dr. Haas will discuss advances and challenges in research of prevention of suicide in LGBT populations.

Rev. Coates is Senior Pastor of Mt. Ennon Baptist Church in Clinton, MD and President of the Black Church Center for Justice and Equality, committed to reclaiming the social justice tradition of the Black church. Rev. Coates believes in keeping the legacy of African American Christian activism and the responsibility of progressive faith leaders to further Christian love and American democracy. He will talk about why he believes it is important for African American pastors to dispel the myth the bible condemns homosexuality and the role of LGBT individuals in the Black church.

Dr. Goldblum is the co-editor of Youth Suicide and Bullying: Challenges and Strategies for Prevention and Intervention (forthcoming September 2014, Oxford University Press). Dr. Goldblum will discuss the four presentations and share from his own extensive experience as director of a clinic that specializes in working with LGBT people.
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What is Cyberbullying? Stop Online Bullying!

Having a constant internet connection can be a great thing, but unfortunately it also has its negative side effects. Cyberbullying through text messages and online social media accounts is becoming an increasingly larger problem among teens. According to the non-profit organization Bullying Statistics, as many as 50% of teens have been cyberbullied.

Stop Cyberbullying & Online Bullying Infographic
What is cyberbullying? Use our infographic to learn more about what cyberbullying is. Find facts, statistics and definitions to further educate yourself about the threat of online bullying. Both teens and parents can find helpful tips and advice on how to stop cyberbullying.
What is Cyberbullying Infographic: Cyberbullying Definition & Statistics

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Workplace Bullies Are Running Amok

Here’s how you can turn the tables at last

Here’s how you can turn the tables at last

If you’re the target of a workplace bully, you are hardly alone. A new survey concludes that 96 percent of people have experienced bullying behavior at work.

Sadly, the bully usually “wins.” That is, the victims quit their jobs, while the bully remains behind, reigning supreme over new targets.

Needless to say, this is not good for business.

The latest study of bullying and its impact on people and the workplace was conducted by Joseph Grenny and David Maxfield, business strategists and co-authors of the books Crucial Conversations and Influencer.

Their survey covered the full range of bullying behavior. It found that 62 percent had witnessed or experienced sabotaging of work or reputations. More than half saw browbeating, threats or intimidation. About four percent even saw physical intimidation or assault in the workplace.

Who are these people?

Notably, the bully isn’t necessarily the boss. A peer is almost as likely to belittle, sabotage, intimidate and abuse co-workers.

A 2012 study by CareerBuilder found that half of the victims never confront the bully, and most incidents remain unreported.

The list of reported horrors in this survey also is extensive: Victims reported being pointedly ignored, picked on for their personal attributes, belittled in public, constantly criticized and falsely accused of errors. They’ve been gossiped about, purposely excluded, and denied credit for their work.

Only about half reported the incident to Human Resources, and more than half of those said nothing came of reporting it.

So, it’s quite possible that you’re on your own in dealing with this.

Here’s one important thing to remember: In kindergarten or in the office, the behavior of a bully is about as primitive as human behavior gets.

In a blog for Psychology Today, Preston Ni, who coaches professionals on personal effectiveness, says most bullies are cowards who pick on people they perceive as weaker, and inevitably back down when challenged.

He advises people to “stand tall,” literally and figuratively, in the face of bullying. But also seek witnesses, and keep a paper trail of the abuse directed at you.

Most of all, keep your own emotions and actions in check. It will help keep the temperature down.

After all, you don’t want to get in a brawl here. Ideally, you want to resolve the problem.

Grenfield and Maxfield offer these tips for seeking a reasonable resolution to a crisis with a bully at work:

  • Speak up. Instead of fearing the risks of taking action, think through the risks of doing nothing.
  • Present the facts. Explain your side of the issue to the bully, avoiding emotion and provocation.
  • Validate the bully’s concerns. The bully presumably has a point to make, and is just expressing it inappropriately. Acknowledge that.
  • Clarify the consequences. One person’s bullying behavior damages the team and the business. Make sure the bully hears that.
  • Ask the bully to commit to more effective communication.

CareerBuilder also advises victims to talk it out dispassionately with the bully.

After all, there’s a good chance that many bullies aren’t even aware of the impact they’re having.

They may think they’re being “passionate” or “intense.” They may imagine they’re defending themselves against non-existent threats. They may hear any discussion of an issue as argumentative, or insubordinate.

It could be up to you to tell them they’re just being bullies.
By Carol Kopp AOL Jobs


Mobbing {A Survivors Take}

downloadThis article is about mobbing in relation to human bullying behaviour, for mobbing as an antipredatory animal behaviour. Mobbing in the context of human beings means bullying of an individual by a group in any context, such as a family, friends, peers, school, workplace, neighborhood, community, or online grouped together I referr to as mobbing.

  1. I myself was a forced victim of all the aforementioned types (mobbing), with the worst type being financial bullying, the ring leaders {credit bureaus} this type of bullying occurs when one is left holding the bag of a substantial debt load, the results of an unjust dismissal, it spreads like a wild fire throughout society.
  2. {T.K}

  3. In my case due to the lack of evidence to discredit me during a court battle, the perpetrators had to fabricate derogatory information that suited their needs which was branding me a thief, once branded there’s not a living soul who will stand with you or help, not to mention a larger scale of mobbing, you are left to your own devices.
  4. {T.K}

When it occurs as emotional abuse in the workplace, such as “ganging up” by co-workers, subordinates or superiors, to force someone out of the workplace through rumor, innuendo, intimidation, humiliation, discrediting, and isolation, it is also referred to as malicious, nonsexual, nonracial, general harassment.

In the workplace

UK anti-bully pioneers Andrea Adams and Tim Field used the expression workplace bullying instead of what Leymann called “mobbing” in a workplace context.

In the book MOBBING: Emotional Abuse in the American Workplace, the authors identify mobbing as a particular type of bullying that is not as apparent as most, defining it as “…an emotional assault. It begins when an individual becomes the target of disrespectful and harmful behavior. Through innuendo, rumors, and public discrediting, a hostile environment is created in which one individual gathers others to willingly, or unwillingly, participate in continuous malevolent actions to force a person out of the workplace.”

The authors say that mobbing is typically found in work environments that have poorly organised production and/or working methods and incapable or inattentive management and that mobbing victims are usually “exceptional individuals who demonstrated intelligence, competence, creativity, integrity, accomplishment and dedication”.

According to the authors of Workplace Mobbing: Expulsion, Exclusion, and Transformation, workplace “mobbing” is not generally a familiar term—it is not well-understood in some English speaking countries. Some researchers claim that mobbing is simply another name for bullying. Workplace mobbing can be considered as a “virus” or a “cancer” that spreads throughout the workplace via gossip, rumour and unfounded accusations. It is a deliberate attempt to force a person out of their workplace by humiliation, general harassment, emotional abuse and/or terror. Mobbing can be described as being “ganged up on.” Mobbing is executed by a leader (who can be a manager, a co-worker, or a subordinate). The leader then rallies others into a systematic and frequent “mob-like” behaviour toward the victim.

Psychological and health effects

Victims of workplace mobbing frequently suffer from: adjustment disorders, somatic symptoms (e.g., headaches or irritable bowel syndrome), psychological trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder and major depression.

In mobbing targets with PTSD, Leymann notes that the “mental effects were fully comparable with PTSD from war or prison camp experiences. Some patients may develop alcoholism or other substance abuse disorders. Family relationships routinely suffer. Some targets may even develop brief psychotic episodes, generally with paranoid symptoms. Leymann estimated that 15% of suicides in Sweden could be directly attributed to workplace mobbing.

Tim Field died from cancer on 15 January 2006 aged 53. In 2010, the Tim Field Foundation with an associated website was set up to further Tim Field’s cause against bullying.

The information contained within this article is not my words (unless otherwise noted) but from the perspective of a survivor of workplace mobbing I would certainly endorse it. (T.K)

worldjpgIn closing: When society throws a fastball, your very own survival depends only on your strenght and courage, you have to to be strong and take a stand, I cannot stress enough how important it is to record, record, and record all incidents even if you are not sure of what is happening because one day it may be all that will save you. (T.K)

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As we now leave the political arena behind…facebook-antibullying2_article_detailZach_LOW_RES_smallOn Wednesday 2nd July 2014, I was lucky to attend an Anti-Bullying Showcase at Facebook London Offices.

During this event, Anti-Bullying Ambassadors from 6 secondary schools across England demonstrated the hard work they were doing to combat bullying online and offline within their schools and communities through visual films of their work – they were joined by a host of special guests and celebrities.

The Showcase began with an introduction from both Simon Milner (Policy Director, UK, Middle East and Africa, Facebook) and Alex Holmes (Anti-Bullying Programme Manager, Diana Award).

This was followed by speeches from special guests, and videos from each of the secondary schools.

Special guests included Jodie Marsh, Bars and Melody, Diversity, Adam Deacon, Will Poulter, Paul Potts, Lucy Kay and Luke Newberry.

The speeches made by these special guests were truly inspiring and reassuring to those being bullied and the Anti-Bullying ambassadors. (Britain’s Got Talent finalists Bars and Melody and Lucy Kay both gave phenomenal performances!)facebook-antibullying_mediumI found out that many schools across the country are taking a stand against bullying.

I was amazed at the innovative and effective ideas that the young people had created. These included mapping the areas of school which the pupils felt safe in, creating an anonymous bullying report website and releasing balloons which each had a tag with the schools’ details so whoever received the balloon could contact them if they were being bullied. Amazingly, they received replies from many different areas including Manchester and Wales.

YoungMinds Vs is giving young people a voice to speak out and demands change on the 5 top issues that worry them the most – bullying, school stress, sexual pressures, unemployment and not being able to get help can stress us out.

More than three-quarters of a million young people believe they have nothing to live for, with jobless youngsters facing “devastating” symptoms of mental illness (Princes Trust, 2014).

YoungMinds Vs is fighting the pressure and has created a mass movement of children and young people campaigning for better mental health and wellbeing.

Sign Jack’s petition now and help schools support victims of bullying long-term.
Written by: Zach Baker via Youngminds

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