SAMHSA – A resource for understanding bullying

In a nutshell, SAMHSA’s mission is to minimize the impact of substance abuse and mental illness in our communities. They’re working hand-in-hand with states, local communities, and various partners to boost behavioral health, enhance access to services, and uplift the overall well-being of individuals and families.

In the Native American Community, SAMHSA has worked with the Tribal Training and Technical Assistance Center to come up with a great fact sheet that talks about the factor of bullying in Indian Country.


Consequences of Bullying

According to the fact sheet, bullying isn’t just about individual aggression. It is a learned behavior that happens within the context of the larger society and community. As thy were putting this fact sheet together, they realized that research on the effects of bullying on the native population doesn’t really exist. But they do know that bullying is prevalent, varies from community to community, and has short term and long term consequences on the native population. And some of these are very serious.

  • Childhood bullying has lead to suicide attempts and deaths in later life.
  • Both the targets and the ones who bully are at higher risk for suicide attempts and deaths
  • Ones who are bullied often show higher levels of insecurity, anxiety and loneliness
  • Ones who bully often get into fights, vandalize property, and drop out of school

What to do about Bullying

To address Bullying in Indian Country starts with raising awareness and strengthening protective factors that build resilience in the community. Some things that should be talked about are,

Lateral Violence

One of the consequences of oppression and historical trauma is lateral violence. Lateral violence happens when people who are victims of dominance turn on each other rather than confront the system which is oppressing them. When raising awareness about bullying, we should also talk about lateral violence and how to deal with those issues as well.

Awareness of the consequences of bullying

If bullying is seen as a rite of passage or “kids being kids” then some additional education about what bullying is needs to happen. Defining what bullying is, its consequences, and what to do about the issue. This information would be geared towards teens and adults to educate the community about bullying and ways to stop it.

Protective Factors

According to the fact sheet, culture as a protective factor is an effective way to make people feel safe. Since there are many Native American tribes, each with their own culture,

“successful approaches incorporate cultural components that encourage caring, supportive relationships with one or more adults; create opportunities for youth to feel useful and contribute to their community; set clear positive standards for behavior; and help youth feel competent”


Importance of family, community and Native American culture will help to battle this problem. It will also help with the well being of teens.

Bullying Fact Sheet

Many of the ideas and possible solutions brought up by the Tribal Training and Technical Assistance Center are not only important for the Native American community, they could also be used by other cultures to understand and stop bullying.

If you would like to see the fact sheet created by SAMHSA and Tribal Training and Technical Assistance Center, here is a link to it, Bullying Fact Sheet

If you are looking for more information about bullying, please check out our dedicated page to it this quarter – Bullying Theme Page

Looking for additional resources for bullying or other challenges that teens face? Check out our resource page – Mentoring A Dream Resources

Mentoring a Dream Bullying Resource

Our mission here at Mentoring A Dream (MAD) is to help parents and caring adults with resources to help their teens conquer the challenges they may be facing. These resources are not only to help the teens in our lives, but can help educate us adults in what our teens may be facing.

Image of Bullying Freebie

By signing up for the email list, you not only receive a free bullying resource (a fact sheet similar to the one we featured today) but also some other great resources.

  • Valuable information about mentoring and teen challenges
  • An info-filled resource to help talk to your teen about bullying
  • From the author side of our brand, Selma P. Verde, snag A FREE copy of my new short story, “Josh’s Story,” to help give you insight into the mind of one who bullies
  • A blurb about my weekly blog post and a link to get to it
  • Great resources for helping your teens
  • Updates from Selma P. Verde
  • And SO 👏 MUCH 👏 MORE 👏

All you need to do is head to the bottom of the page and enter t=your information to sign up. The rest will come to your email.

Have a great week!

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