Cyberbullying and suicide-related behavior are significant public health concerns with approximately 157,000 youth receive emergency room care for self-inflicted injuries each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
There are several factors that can put a young person at risk for suicide, and Augusta University Pediatric Psychiatrist Dale Peeples says there could be link between self-harm and media habits.
“Cyberbullying doubles the risk of suicide attempts, and research shows an increase of adolescents communicating self-injury through text and social media,” said Peeples. “Youth who experience bullying are at a higher risk of psychological distress, and it’s important for parents to stay connected to their kids by looking at how many devices are in the home, consider how the family uses the internet, and monitor online interactions with others.”
Peeples is among the experts discussing the complexities of pediatric mental health care during the Children’s Hospital of Georgia’s 9th Annual EMS for Children Conference. Workshops will be held from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. on May 23 in the university’s J. Harold Harrison M.D. Education Commons.
Peeples’ presentation on social media and bullying begins at 8:15 a.m. and other session topics include teenage suicidality, psychological first aid and emergency management of the psychotic and pediatric.
Register online for the conference or email for more information. This annual event is a part of Augusta University Health’s EMS Week celebration, and is sponsored by AU Health’s Department of Emergency Medicine and Region VI EMS Children’s Committee.