What we’re about….

Our passion for children and their families is an extension of our values and beliefs.  The primary program of Buddies Not Bullies, “All In”, was developed in response to the growing number of children who were being seen in mental health facilities struggling with peer abuse and mistreatment, i.e. bullying.  Unfortunately, by the time a child has come to the attention of a mental health professional, their situation has frequently reached a dangerous stage of crisis.  Did you know that children who are abused by their peers are less likely to perform at their full academic and social potential?  Sadly, children who are involved in peer abuse are also more likely to experience other negative consequences such as:

 

  • Depression
  • Girl targets are 8 times more likely to become suicidal.  Boy targets are 4 times more likely to become suicidal.
  • Self-injurious behaviors, like cutting their own skin
  • One of many distraction techniques of people who are suffering.
  • Substance abuse
  • Increased likelihood of arrest and incarceration.
  • Bullies identified by age 8 are six times more likely to have a criminal conviction by age 24.
  • Increased likelihood to be abused as an adult
  • Less likely to protect their own children from abuse
  • Increased apathy for social injustice and cruelty

(Sources:  National Institutes for Health; US Department of Health and Human Services; National Mental Health Information Center; SafeYouth.org)

We decided to tackle the problem with prevention services because of the devastating effects that mistreatment was having on the children in our community.  We feel that we have a responsibility to educate children, parents, and teachers about these effects as well as to provide them with the skills necessary to successfully traverse the complexities of relationships. “All In” is a prevention program designed to teach relational literacy.  It strives to meet the challenges that our children face as they navigate increasingly complex social situations, helping them to build the skills necessary to build and sustain healthy relationships.

The “All In” program has been taught to hundreds of children, parents, and educators since our founding 2005, and continues to be a ‘work in progress’ for those of us whose vision is to create a community of acceptance and inclusion.