December 05, 2009

Bullying a Cause of Suicide, Not a Rite of Passage

From the Salt Lake City Tribune:

When John Halligan's son Ryan committed suicide six years ago at the age of 13, he and his wife tore the house apart looking for the suicide note that would explain why he did it.

They didn't find one. But when Halligan, then an engineer with IBM in Vermont, logged onto his son's instant messaging account, he found the answer he was looking for: Ryan Halligan was a victim of cyberbullying.

Halligan was the keynote speaker at the 10th Annual Suicide Prevention Conference at Brigham Young University on Friday. The conference was conducted by the Utah County HOPE Task Force, a coalition of community groups focused on preventing suicide, and attracted educators, social workers and students.

Greg Hudnall, HOPE's executive director, said the group this year is attempting to get at the root causes of teen suicide, including bullying in its many forms.

"People don't realize the impact of bullying," he said.

Click here to read the rest of the story.

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