Mental health campaigner who created Project Semicolon dies at 31.


Mental health campaigner who created Project Semicolon dies at 31
Amy Bleuel, 31, from Wisconsin, founded Project Semicolon in 2013 with one goal in mind – to help people struggling with mental illness, suicide and addiction. 

The woman behind a powerful mental health campaign which aims to lower suicide rates around the world has died. 

 

Amy Bleuel, 31, from Wisconsin, founded Project Semicolon in 2013 with one goal in mind – to help people struggling with mental illness, suicide and addiction.

She encouraged people to draw or tattoo semicolons on themselves as a message of hope – a sign that their story isn’t finished – and to fight the stigma of mental health.

Jeff Strommen, the chairman of the Brown County Coalition for Suicide Prevention who had previously worked with Amy, told Fox 11: ‘Her loss is felt tremendously both by myself and our community here.’

The most recent post on her Facebook fan page was written on March 20 and reads: ‘Depression takes root when the picture of the past is more powerful than the picture of the future.’

Amy struggled with mental illness for more than 20 years and experienced many stigmas associated with it.

 

After overcoming some of her struggles, she began sharing stories and giving hope to others struggling with mental illness.

On the Project Semicolon website, Amy, who lost her own father to suicide in 2003, wrote: ‘Despite the wounds of a dark past I was able to rise from the ashes, proving that the best is yet to come.

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‘When my life was filled with the pain of rejection, bullying, suicide, self-injury, addiction, abuse and even rape, I kept on fighting.

‘I didn’t have a lot of people in my corner, but the ones I did have kept me going. In my 20 years of personally struggling with mental health I experienced many stigmas associated with it.

‘Through the pain came inspiration and a deeper love for others. Please remember there is hope for a better tomorrow.’

Amy Bleuel death
She passed away last Thursday 

Since the news of her passing was released, there has been an outpouring of support on the Facebook page.

One person wrote: ‘Just being real, being who you are, not being ashamed, or afraid to talk about things that are difficult to talk about, she did that well.’

Source:http://metro.co.uk

Taking a Closer Look at the Bullying Behavior.


“How things look on the outside of us depends on how things are on the inside of us.” ~ Unknown

bullies

I strongly believe that we are all born with an innate need to give and to share who we are, what we know and what we have with others.

When we are happy and at peace with ourselves and when love is present in our hearts, our actions will reflect our internal state of being. As a result, we will act in loving, kind and positive ways towards ourselves and the world around us. However, when our hearts are filled with pain and sorrow and when love is missing from our lives, we project on to those around us our unhappiness and our inner turmoils.

“Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

The are a lot of people who, because they are very unhappy with themselves and their lives, they go around projecting their darkness on to others in the form of verbal, emotional and physical abuse.

And that’s usually how a “bully” is born…

I will be using the word bully throughout the p just so that I can make my point but once I’m done, it will be left behind…

What is a bully?

Bully is a word used to describe the behavior of a person who acts in negative, aggressive, unhealthy, toxic and destructive ways, towards themselves and those around them.

“And I came to believe that good and evil are names for what people do, not for what they are. All we can say is that this is a good deed, because it helps someone or that’s an evil one because it hurts them.” ~ Philip Pullman

The origin of the bullying behavior.

In many cases, the bullying behavior originates in childhood. Since children learn through imitation, bullying can be learned at home, in schools and even on the playground.

There are many parents who bully their children, teachers who bully their students and young children who bully other children.

Why do people “choose” to adopt the bullying behavior?

The irony is that many of the people who adopt the behavior of a bully have been bullied at one point in their lives and whether they realized it or not, they started treating others in the same way they themselves have been treated.

People who adopt a bullying behavior do so because at one point in their lives they were made to feel small and insignificant by the bullying behavior of others. Because of  those painful and traumatic experiences, they have come to believe that power comes from having control over others, from making people feel small and insignificant and from having control over others. 

One of my favorite quotes on this matter comes from Eckhart Tolle, the Author of one of my favorite books, The Power of Now: “”Power over others is weakness disguised as strength. True power if within, and it is available to you now.”

What can you do to help a “bully”

The first thing you can do is to remove the labels you have placed on them and start challenging their behavior but not the person. To look beyond appearances, into their hearts and see them for who they really are and not for who they pretend to be.

Behind their toxic and unhealthy behavior, behind the masks they are wearing, there is a scared, lonely and frightened person that is in desperate need of help and what these people need is forgiveness, nourishment, love and understanding.

Just look how beautifully Thích Nhất Hạnh talks about this: “When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over. He does not need punishment; he needs help. That’s the message he is sending.”

If you happen to know anyone who has adopted the behavior of a bully and if you really want to be of service to them, you can by showing them that there is a better way to live their lives.

No need to despise them just because they weren’t as fortunate as you are. No need to despise them for not knowing how to love themselves, their lives and those around them as much as you do. Be the first person to bring light into their dark world.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Martin Luther King, Jr.

What can you learn from a “bully” ?

A “bully” can teach you to appreciate the contrast of life… to be thankful that you yourself know a better way of living your life.

A “bully” can teach you forgiveness, compassion, tolerance and kindness… how to act in loving ways towards those who are “good” but also towards those who aren’t.

From a “bully” you can learn one of the most beautiful and powerful life lessons, to offer love to people when they least deserve it, because that’s when they need it the most :)

What can you teach a “bully” ?

In the Tao Te Ching, the second most translated book in the world, Lao Tzu talks so beautifully about the importance of looking at everyone as either your student or your teacher. He is telling us that by doing so, no experience will ever be wasted: “What is a good man but a bad man’s teacher? What is a bad man but a good man’s job? If you don’t understand this, you will get lost, however intelligent you are. It is the great secret.” Lat Tzu, Tao Te Ching (500BC)

Only by treating these people with love, kindness and compassion will you be able to show them there is a better way for them to act and live their lives.

Judge less and help more. Lead by example.

Take the advice of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and treat people not as they are but as they ought to be and could be.

“If you treat an individual as he is, he will remain how he is. But if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought to be and could be.” ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

We are all in this together, whether we like it or not. The world belongs both to those who act in loving ways and also to those who aren’t. We all have something to teach one  another. We all have something to learn from each other.

Where there is a difficulty, there is also an opportunity to help, to grow and to give.

P.S. The word “bully” should be used to describe the actions and behaviors of a person but not to define and condemn that person to becoming that label.

With all my love,

Technology Fuels Cyberbullying and Cheating in Teens.


McAfee’s study “The Digital Divide: How the Online Behavior of Teens is Getting Past Parents” shows an alarming 70% of teens have hidden their online behavior from their parents, up from 45% in 2010. And yet half of parents live under the assumption that their teen tells them everything he/she does online.

The school year is now upon us. If you haven’t already, you will soon start packing up the kids to send them off to school. Outfitting your kids with new clothes are new technologies is often a big part of back to school preparations.

However, these technologies can have drawbacks and even some dangers that parents need to address: cyberbullying and cheating.

Cyberbullying

  • Almost 25% of teens claimed to be targets of cyber bullying and 2/3 of all teens have witnessed cruel behavior online
  • Only 10% of parents are aware of their teens are targets of cyber bullying
  • Facebook has become the new school yard for bullies with 92.6% of teens saying that cruel behavior takes place on Facebook, and 23.8% on Twitter, 17.7% on MySpace and 15.2% via Instant Messenger
  • When witnessing others being attacked, 40% of teens have told the person to stop, 21% have told an adult and 6% joined in
  • When being attacked themselves, 66% of teens responded to the attacker (with 35% responding in person), 15.4% avoided school, and an alarming 4.5% have been in a physical fight with their attacker

 

Cheating

  • Only 23% of parents express concern about their teen going online to cheat in school, yet nearly half of all teens (48%) admit they’ve looked up answers to a test or assignment online
  • 22% cheated specifically on a test via online or mobile phone; while only 5% of parents believed their children did this.
  • 15.8% of teens have admitted to cheating on a test by looking up answers on their phone yet only 3.2% of parents thought their teens cheated this way
  • 14.1% of teens admitted to looking up how to cheat on a test online
  • Overall, 77.2% of parents said they were not worried about their teens cheating online

Parents, you must stay in-the-know. Since your teens have grown up in an online world, they may be more online savvy than you, but you can’t give up. You must challenge yourself to become familiar with the complexities of the teen online universe and stay educated on the various devices your teens are using to go online.

As a parent, I proactively participate in my kids’ online activities and talk to them about the “rules of the road” for the Internet. I’m hoping that this report opens other parent’s eyes so they’ll become more involved in educating their teens with advice and tools

 

Source: http://blogs.mcafee.com