Today is Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day. One huge area affecting the youth in our communities is bullying. On this day, we hope to spread awareness and reaffirm our commitment to combat this growing problem.
The Institute for Social Policy and Understanding noted that 42 percent of Muslims with children in school report that their children are being bullied. CAIR California reported 55 percent of Muslim children are bullied on the basis of their faith.
It is not just Muslim children who are experiencing high rates of bullying. CEPTA, a health clinic based in Atlanta, reported that Latinx youth are being bullied at an increased rate since the presidential elections in November 2016.
Bullying is painful. We have heard everything from verbal abuse and intimidation to appalling accounts of physical violence including broken limbs and hijabs being ripping off. Latino children as young as five years old have been verbally abused by their peers being told to “go back to Mexico.” Others are surrounded by their peers who chant “Build a wall.”
The youth face the brunt of many of the attacks that our communities face, but with less experience, less knowledge, and fewer tools. These young victims of bullying are also more likely to face a range of mental health issues – including depression, poor school performance, and increased suicide risk – because of their experience.
On this day and every day, we all mustreaffirm our commitment to our children. We must work harder to empower them to speak up when they feel unsafe. We must commit to creating safe spaces for them. We must provide them the tools and resources to work through the issues they face as results of their trauma. It is on us to help them, and we encourage everyone to learn and assist as much as they can.
If your child or children have been subject to discrimination, hate, harassment, physical violence, or any kind of abuse or intimidation, please do not hesitate to contact our office at 646-665-7599.
If you would like to learn more about how to make our communities safer for our kids, request an anti-bullying workshop through our website at http://www.cair-ny.org/event-request/ .