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News Thursday, November 2, 2017 Sunday, November 12, 2017 11:11 AM - Sunday, November 12, 2017 11:11 AM

#CutTheBull roundtable gives patients outlet for bullying discussion

Patients share experiences and ideas

October was National Bullying Prevention Month and our team at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Philadelphia was excited to incorporate the #CutTheBull initiative into different aspects of our care. 

Shriners Hospitals for Children’s #CutTheBull campaign encourages young people to become anti-bullying advocates in their communities by looking beyond our difference and instead, #SeeTheAbility in everyone. The program hopes to inspire young adults to reach out to those they see being bullied and respond by offering them support and bringing the issue to an adult.

Last month, a group of inpatients were invited to participate in a roundtable discussion about their experiences with bullying facilitated by our teacher India Simons, M.Ed. 

“I saw the #cutthebull feature story in one of our Leaders in Care magazines,” said Simons. “After reading the article, I was inspired to form a teen discussion group on the topic.” 

Heather Russell, Ph.D., licensed clinical psychologist and Dawn Sheaffer, MSW, LSW, social worker authored the article and Simons thought a roundtable discussion functioned as a great extension of their work. 

The roundtable was designed as a safe place to discuss bullying with both peers and trusted adults. 

“Our patients are in a unique position in terms of the bullying issue,” said Simons. “Children with disabilities are more likely to experience bullying, but they are also incredibly strong and compassionate. I wanted to create a space where our patients could talk about bullying, but I also wanted to focus on how to be an advocate for yourself and others.”

Students were able to discuss their own experiences, offer support and share insights and strategies with one another. 

“The roundtable was also designed as an educational extension activity during which I offered coaching about what bullying is and how we can offer Respect, Reach Out, and Respond in difficult situations,” said Simons.

“Overall, I would say the event was a success. The lunch and round table were well attended and students shared their ideas. Plus, I think everyone enjoyed the pizza,” said Simons.

Patients participating in the Cut the Bull roundtable dfiscussion