By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – National Bullying Prevention Month in October is in response to the need to raise awareness of bullying, as it was historically believed that bullying “made kids tougher”, when the reality is that bullying can have devastating effects such as school avoidance, loss of self-esteem, increased anxiety, depression and suicide.

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The National PTA, American Federation of Teachers and National Education Association provide schools, parents and students with resources to respond to bullying behavior and address the issue through education and support.

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Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy, by Emily Bazelon, is the best book I’ve read on this issue. It begins with the author’s never-to-be forgotten personal experience of being rejected, provides actual accounts of three young people who were victims of bullying and recommends strategies and programs for dealing with bullies.

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An important read!