Bullying and Suicide

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There is a strong link between bullying and suicides. In the last few years, a string of suicides in the United States and around the world has called attention to this problem. This article looks at suicides in relation to both physical bullying and cyber-bullying. Learn about Bullying Suicide Statistics.


Death by Text

Many parents view bullying as simply a part of growing up. Often they do not realize the devastating effects. It can easily escalate from one or two incidents and becomes a regular problem. soon it is a steady barrage of demeaning incidents on a regular occasion. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for 10 to 34 year old, according to the Center for Disease Control. It was the cause of about 6,078 deaths in a year in the 15 to 24 age group.


Bullying and Suicide Statistics

Bullied victims are 7 to 9 percent more likely to consider suicide according to a study by Yale University. Studies in Britain have found half of the suicides among youth related to bullying. According to a study by ABC News over 30,000 children stay home every day due to the fear of being bullied. Bullying can be related to physical, emotional, cyber-bullying, and sexting, i.e. circulating nude or suggestive pictures or messages about of a person.

The Urban Institute’s study on bullying showed 17 percent of students reported being victims of cyber-bullying, 41 percent victims of physical bullying, and 15 percent experienced different kinds. The types and rates of bullying varied according to gender in this study. About 50 percent of girls experienced psychological bullying, and 45 percent males physical bullying.

The Center For Disease Control reported that students that experience bullying is twice as likely to suffer from various problems. These include depression, sleep difficulties, anxiety, and trouble adjusting to school. They are twice as likely to get stomachaches and headaches.

The National Center for Educational Statistics reports that in 2014,  1 of 3 students reported being bullied during the school year. In the National Crime Victimization Survey of 2014, about 64.5 percent reported incidents that occurred twice in the year. About 18.5 percent reported incidents reported bullying twice a month, and 7.8 percent reported bullying being bullied daily.

According to another study, by J. Anderson, Many students reported bullying that involved being made fun of and called names. Other methods of bullying were having rumors spread about them, threats the person with bodily harm, being pushed or shoved, and spit on. Others students had their belongings stolen or destroyed and were excluded from the groups on purpose. Bullying often produces depression, lowers self-esteem, and produces a mentality of helplessness in victims.

According to the Suicide Awareness Voices for Education, suicide is, among 15 to 24 years old, one of the leading causes of death for youth. Over 16 percent of students seriously consider suicide, 13 percent create a plan, and 8 percent have made a serious attempt.

About 80 percent of youth that commits suicide have depressive symptoms. Peer victimization and bullying cause higher rates of suicide among youth according to the JAMA Paediatrics. Cyber-bullying leads to thoughts of suicide more than traditional bullying. Many students are bullied and engage in bullying behavior.



Cases of Suicides Due to Bullying

A young male from Ireland named Joshua Unsworth hung himself after frequent cyberbullying on a social network that he belonged to. He was teased about his father being a farmer and peers made fun of his dating habits. This constant barrage of bullying leads to depression and suicide.

On January 12, 2012, Amanda Diane Cummings, a 15-year-old Staten Island youth, jumped in front of a bus. She carried a note that stated that classmates were constantly teasing her and stole her personal possessions. While she recovered in the hospital classmates posted cruel comments on her Facebook page. Bullying is not considered a serious crime by many. Kids that report incidents are told to toughen up or fight back. Sometimes authorities tell children no one likes a tattletale, so they do not get the help they need.

Audrie Pott was attacked sexually at a party she attended by three boys. Photos were taken of the incident and posted online. She was at a sleepover and alcohol was involved. The girl hung herself about 8 days after the incident. The Photos were shared with classmates from Saratoga High School. She did not tell anyone about the attack or the incident. Her parents did not know about it until after her death.

A 15-year-old Connecticut boy, Bart Palosz, took his life by shooting himself. His death is linked to many years of bullying at school and on social networks. He was a quiet boy that related better to adults than his peers. He was 6 feet 3 inches tall and had a Polish accent, which makes him a target for bullying. Incidents include boys in town calling him names, pushing him into bushes, and destroying his cell phone.

He did not fight back or tell an adult about the bullying. The boy met with a guidance counselor several times but told the woman everything was fine. Although his parents claim they asked the school for help, nothing was done. He also posted comments about suicide on social media recently a sign of trouble.

Another girl Cynthie Sanchez killed herself after years of peer bullying and cyber-bullying. Sometimes kids just called her name but online they told her to kill herself. She suffered from depression, which is believed to have contributed to her to her suicide. She was only 14 years old.

These are a few of the many cases that show bullying contributing to suicide in youth.

Cyber Bullying and Suicide

Cyberbullying is another form of bullying that is more prevalent due to increased access to cell phones and the Internet. About 42 percent of youth report being bullied online. Approximately 69 percent of teens own their own computer, cell phone, and use social media.

An average teen often sends 60 text messages a day. These are around double the rates for adults. Girls in the age group of 14 to 16 years old text often send 100 messages a day. Over 7.5 million Facebook users are under 13 years old. Over 81 percent of teens admit that bullying is easier to get away with online. About 20 percent of kids that are cyberbullied think about suicide.

The Hartford County Examiner reports that 1 to 10 kids that are cyberbullied do not tell their parents. Only 1 of 5 cyber-bullying incidents are reported to authorities. The Cyberbullying Research Center reported that mean comments and spreading rumors are the most common type of cyberbullying. Cyber-bullying victims often have low self-esteem and are likely to consider suicide.

According to the American Association of Suicidology rates for suicide among 10 to 14 year old – has grown 50 percent over the last three decades. Parents and educators should know the signs of youth and teens at risk for suicide. This can help save lives. Looking at bullying and statistics often helps adults learn to see the problem before it becomes serious.

Bullying and Suicide Prevention

Many schools and communities are struggling to find effective ways to prevent both bullying and suicidal behavior among youth. We’ll provide the latest research and science on the relationship between bullying and suicide and will outline some of the shared risk and protective factors. We’ll also discuss the main principles of a comprehensive whole school approach to bullying prevention. This presentation will be interactive, with opportunities to ask questions.

Objectives: Participants will:

  1. Recognize the complex relationship between bullying and suicide.
  2. Understand key research findings related to effective bullying prevention approaches.
  3. Identify ways to integrate both bullying prevention and suicide prevention into school violence prevention initiatives.

Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems.

Suicide Prevention Resource Center



Signs of Depression in Youth And Suicide

Adults and teachers should learn the signs of serious depression in youth. They are:

  • Talking or joking about committing suicide with friends or family and on social media.
  • Writing poems or stories about death, dying and suicide primarily.
  • Engaging in reckless behavior that results in accidents or giving away prized possessions.
  • Talking about ways to kill themselves using pills, or weapons.
  • An outgoing person that withdraws from family and friends is a sign.
  • A good student whose grades plummet and they lose interest in learning is a sign of depression.
  • Trouble sleeping.
  • Frequent nightmares.
  • Change in eating habits.
  • Weight loss or extreme weight gain.



Parents and teachers should watch students and note incidents of bullying on the playground, cafeteria or in the neighborhood. Talk to kids about suicide, and tell them it is not the way to solve problems. It is wrong and should not ever be attempted.

Encourage kids to tell an adult or teacher so that they can get help. When a child is depressed and does not seem to be getting any better get them help. Talk with your doctor who may be able to recommend psychiatric help. Bullying suicide statistics are just a sign that adults need to be more involved with their kids. In this way, tragedies can be prevented and kids can be saved.




Please help us combat bullying in all its forms by carrying on the discussion. A fact-driven awareness is vital to progressing this cause. You can comment below or share this on social media.