Child Psychologist Puts a Stop to Bullying

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School is back in session which means students and parents need to be aware of bullying.

It’s one of the biggest problems in schools across the country.

According to a recent study, around 20 percent of all high schoolers are victims of bullying.

“I treat kids who have bullied other kids and I treat kids who have been bullied,” says Dr. Jodi Boerger Wilder, a child psychologist at Essentia.

Around 70 percent of all students have witnessed bullying of some kind.

“Social bullying is when the child’s reputation is kind of put at stake. Sometimes it’s verbal where it’s words that are spoken or a note or a text,” she says.

But no matter what type of bullying, it’s Jodi Boerger Wilder’s job to help stop it.

“We can have symptoms of depression. We can sometimes have acting out behaviors where they attempt to retaliate. So if all of those symptoms go untreated, I think then we can have something very tragic,” says Boerger Wilder.

She is one of the only child psychologists in the region so she has a busy schedule.

Often times, she meets with kids who have been bullied.

“One effective way to help stop bullying is to simply ask that child to stop,” she says.

But she also works to help the bullies themselves.

“There are usually underlying issues with children who have been identified as a bully. They themselves have often times been the victim of bullying behavior,” Boerger Wilder says.

But to Dr. Boerger Wilder, it doesn’t matter who is sitting across from her.¬†She just wants to do what she can to put an end to bullying among young people.

“We all need to treat each other kindly and if there is a problem, it’s always okay to talk to another adult or person about that,” she says.

Another important statistic to note is that only 20 to 30 percent of students who are bullied notify an adult.

For more information, head to www.essentiahealth.org.