Monday, 19 November 2012

PREVNet Launches New Fundraising Campaign to Empower Youth

Do you want to help bring about change for Canada’s young people? In the past year, several high-profile and tragic events have brought national attention to the issues of youth mental health and bullying prevention. There is an urgent need to focus on healthy relationships for youth in Canada, and you have the power to contribute.

PREVNet, Canada’s authority on research and resources for bullying prevention, is working on a plan that could involve you. Our goal? To create a nation of youth who are caring, respectful, and inclusive.

We are raising funds to:

- Host a youth summit to bring together youth, young adults and adults from youth-serving organizations from across Canada to build youth leadership and strengthen  skills so that youth can create change in their own communities.

- Create youth-friendly, evidenced-based bullying prevention resources that will be available to everyone for free.

But we cannot achieve this goal without your help. Together we can create a nation of caring, respectful and inclusive youth!

Please visit to donate today.  

Or make it your school project to fundraise for our cause and support a healthy youth for tomorrow.  

Friday, 16 November 2012

Petition for National Bullying Prevention Strategy: Please Sign by November 21!

As we wrap up Bullying Awareness Week, PREVNet (Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network), Canada’s authority on research and resources for bullying prevention, commends the various initiatives that have been taking place across the country and internationally to prevent bullying.

In particular, we salute the recent motion of MP Dany Morin (Chicoutimi-LeFjord, NDP), who called for all political parties to develop a national strategy against bullying. PREVNet fully supports moving this bill forward, as we believe that a coordinated national strategy and a public health campaign on bullying prevention in Canada is still needed.

Next week, a motion introduced by Mr. Morin to create a National Bullying Prevention Strategy will be voted on in Parliament. “For the Kids” is a mobilization campaign to inform MPs in the House of Commons and to encourage them to vote in favour of the National Bullying Prevention Strategy.

Join us in a call for action. If you agree with this “For the Kids” initiative, you can sign a petition calling on the Government of Canada to create a special committee to develop a national bullying prevention strategy by adopting motion M-385. Or click here for more information on the campaign or on writing a letter to your MP.  

The vote for the National Bullying Prevention Strategy is scheduled for Wednesday, November 21. With only a short period of time before the vote, PREVNet urges you to contact your MP and sign the petition calling on the Government of Canada to play its role to end bullying. 

Why is a national strategy needed?
There are many reasons why a national strategy is still needed in Canada, and should be recognized as a public health issue. Our research has shown us that bullying occurs every seven minutes on the typical school playground. Unhealthy relationships and bullying are a risk factor for a wide range of health issues, including physical and mental health, as well as risk-taking behaviour, according to research from PREVNet and other federal experts. Being bullied is devastating in a child or youth’s life because it undermines his or her strong motivation to belong and be accepted among peers. During childhood and adolescence, peer relationships affect all aspects of development — intellectual, social, emotional, physical, behavioural and moral.

We believe there should be a unified approach to key messages and activities on bullying prevention that are taking place at a national level. PREVNet acknowledges that bullying is a pressing and growing issue for every Canadian today, whether it is the classroom, in the workplace, in day-to-day relationships, or online. Our research, training, tools and resources (online and print) have received international acclaim, and are helping to disseminate evidenced based information, effective practices, and knowledge to the public about the importance of positive, healthy relationships, communication and bullying prevention.

Our path is strong and with a coordinated, unified, federal strategy Canada can soon set a worldwide example for every child, youth, parent and Canadian today. PREVNet ( will actively support this campaign as it moves forward.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Bullying Campaign for Canada

Family Channel kicks off 10th anniversary Stand Up! Campaign for Bullying Awareness Week

Making children and youth aware that they can stand up to bullying is a powerful message, and Family Channel wants them to get involved. Children and youth, educators, parents and all Canadians can show their support against bullying by joining the Stand UP!Network — a pledge to not stand by if they see someone being bullied.
The Stand UP! Network is accessible online at Participants can find their province on the map and click the “+” symbol to join. The Stand UP! Network provides an excellent visual representation of how bullying prevention has taken shape across our country — a motivating “map for change” for children and youth today. (Note that names are moderated and may take time to show up.)

Also available online at downloadable tip sheets for students, parents and educators. In preparation for Bullying Awareness Week (November 12 – 18), PREVNet (Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network — Canada’s authority on research and resources for bullying prevention) has partnered with Family Channel to create the StandUp! Bullying Awareness Teacher’s Guide. The guide includes activities, tip sheets and more.

Special Programming for Bullying Awareness Week
As part of Family Channel’s 10th Annual Bullying Awareness Week, Family will feature special programming such as new music videos, celebrity interviews and more. On Friday, November 16, the network will air a special presentation of Family Channel’s Stand UP! rally at 5 pm ET/PT, followed by a night of bullying-themed episodes from favourite shows. Check out for programming updates, or follow them on Facebook or Twitter.

To read the history of how Family Channel has been helping children stand up to bullying throughout the years, click here

Friday, 21 September 2012

Aboriginal Violence and Abuse Prevention Project

Researchers from the Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network (PREVNet) and the Canadian Red Cross have received $2.5 million in funding to study a violence prevention program for Aboriginal communities in Canada and Australia. The grant, awarded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), will fund a major national project: Walking the Prevention Circle (WTPC): Re-searching Community Capacity Building for Violence Prevention. 

The project follows Aboriginal traditional methods and provides education and mentoring, allowing communities to create nurturing and stable environments for children and youth. Leaders are trained
to lead education sessions for youth and adults on aspects of violence, child abuse, bullying and building healthy relationships.
According to Dr. Debra Pepler, this grant provides “an extraordinary opportunity to collaborate with communities in learning how they engage with the Red Cross community capacity building process to share knowledge, promote stronger relationships, and move from the cycle of violence resulting from colonization to the circle of healing based in Aboriginal traditions.” Dr. Debra Pepler is the Scientific Co-Director of PREVNet and a Distinguished Research Professor of Psychology at York University, Adjunct Senior Scientist at the Hospital for Sick Children. This grant contributes significantly to PREVNet’s mission to stop bullying and promote safe and healthy relationships for all Canadian children and youth. 

Dr. Pepler will be collaborating with Shelley Cardinal, National Aboriginal Advisor for the Canadian Red Cross, as well as other researchers and partners for the five-year project. The project will receive more than $1.2 million in matching funding from partnering organizations.

Walking the Prevention Circle has received consistent acclaim from Aboriginal communities as being one of the best prevention programs available,” says Cardinal. “This funding will provide an incredible opportunity for the Red Cross to identify and understand how we contribute to healthy change in Aboriginal communities and then share that learning.” 

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Bullying Prevention Tips for Back to School

With school now well underway, most children have settled into a new routine with new classmates, friends, teachers and some new challenges. But did you know that more than a million Canadian school-aged children are bullied at least once, each and every week? With this in mind, it’s important to think about bullying prevention, in the schoolyard and beyond. 

Teachers, parents and youth professionals can help protect children against bullying at school, says Dr. Wendy Craig, an international leader in research on bullying, Professor of Psychology at Queen’s University in Kingston, ON, and Scientific Co-director of PREVNet (Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network). Below are some evidence-based bullying prevention tips provided by PREVNet, a network of Canadian researchers and national organizations working with children and youth:

Top 10 Bullying Facts and Prevention Tips

 1)     Bullying is a relationship problem in which a person or group repeatedly uses power and aggression to cause distress to another. It can be verbal, physical, social, or electronic. 

 2)     Both children who are bullied and who bully are at risk for academic problems. Children who are bullied are at risk for absenteeism, and children who bully are at risk for dropping out. 

 3)   Peers are present during 88% of bullying incidents. When peers intervene, bullying stops in less than 10 seconds, 57% of the time.

 4)     Make it clear that you think bullying is wrong and encourage children to stand up for those who are bullied — they can’t always do it themselves.

 5)     Understand that children who walk away and get help are part of the solution. If they stay and watch, they are part of the problem.

 6)     Be proactive. Use Bullying Awareness Week (Nov. 12-18) and other opportunities to start a discussion with your class or your children and address the topic often.

 7)     Refer to the new Bullying Awareness Week Teacher’s Guide, created by PREVNet and the Family Channel. The guide features activities and role-playing scenarios for the classroom, as well as resources and tip sheets for students and parents. See info below.

 8)     Let kids know that you will help solve the problem, whether the child is being bullied, is bullying others, or is a witness to bullying.

 9)     Be a positive role model by demonstrating acceptance of all differences.

 10) Tell children to invite those who are bullied to play somewhere else.

New Canadian Teacher’s Guide to Bullying

Teachers and parents across Canada can access a new guide called StandUp! Bullying Awareness Week Teacher’s Guide to help deal with bullying. The guide was created by PREVNet in partnership with the Family Channel, and is now available for download from the Family Channel’s website ( 

The guide helps teachers prepare for Bullying Awareness Week (November 12-18, 2012). It also features activities and role-playing scenarios for the classroom, as well as contests, resources and tip sheets for students, teachers and parents.

When it comes to developing our youth, remember that fostering positive, healthy relationships is the answer to bullying in schools, beyond the schoolyard and in future years. 

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Females Report Elevated Rates of Bullying and Electronic Bullying

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) published results from a report in July that received a fair amount of media attention. 

Results from The 2011 Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey (OSDUHS) Mental Health and Well-Being Report showed that bullying behaviours remain a concern, with 29% of students grades seven to 12 (228,000 students) reporting being the victim of bullying while at school. 

Most notably, while males reported a decline in bullying victimization, bullying perpetration and fighting at school, a greater percentage of girls than boys also reported being victimized at school, at 31% versus 26%. 

Researchers surveyed 9,288 students from Grades 7 through 12 in 181 elementary and secondary schools across Ontario between October and June of last year.

The report also addressed electronic or "cyber" bullying for the first time. Electronic bullying was reported by one in five students, which represents an estimated 217,000 students in Ontario. Girls reported being twice as likely as boys to be the victim of electronic bullying (28% versus 15% of boys).   

“The bullying rates surrounding girls are troubling,” Dr. David Wolfe, Director of CAMH’s Centre for Prevention Science reports in a press release. “The high rates in cyberbullying are also troubling in that young people today are so technology-driven that bullying now carries over into the home, not just the school setting,” he says. 

The CAMH report confirms findings from the Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children (HBSC) study, a national study conducted in collaboration with the World Health Organization, according to Dr. Wendy Craig, Scientific Co-director of PREVNet and Professor of Psychology at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. “The HBSC study showed that Canada has the sixth highest rate of bullying out of 38 countries for 11-year-old girls,” says Dr. Craig, who was involved in the HBSC study. 

“Bullying is a significant public health issue that requires attention,” says Dr. Craig. “The good news, however, is that the problem is not getting worse. The bad news is that we are not decreasing the problem. The devastating psychological, physical, emotional, social and academic problems for all those involved in bullying highlights how we need to do much more to prevent bullying. There are too many children who are suffering these effects.”