Bullying can happen anywhere—cities, suburbs, or rural towns. Depending on the environment, some groups—such as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgendered (LGBT) youth, youth with disabilities, and socially isolated youth—may be at an increased risk of being bullied. Ingrid Donato is at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and is Chief of the Mental Health Promotion Branch within the Center for Mental Health Services. Ingrid oversees programs aimed at preventing mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders in youth and young adults, including addressing issues such as youth violence, bullying prevention, and early childhood development, as well as screening, systems integration, and access to care.
Recognizing the warning signs is an important first step in taking action against bullying. Not all children who are bullied or are bullying others ask for help. Learn more about the warning signs and steps to take if you suspect bullying is occurring.
Who is at risk of bullying? “They seem to be perceived differently by their peers.” Ingrid Donato is at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. “These are the kids that can be overweight. They may dress a little differently.” “They seem a little awkward, might be new to school.” “They’re perceived as being weak or unable to defend themselves.” “Sometimes they can have a hard time getting along with others.” It’s important to remember that bullying can happen anywhere and to anyone. “One thing to think about too is that even if children have these risk factors, it doesn’t mean that they’re necessarily going to be bullied." You can learn how to take action against bullying and prevent it from happening at stopbullying.gov. Stay connected with stopbullying.gov on Twitter and Facebook. A product of the US Department of Health and Human Services.