How Mental Health Professionals Can Help With Bullying Prevention

Bully Free Zone has assembled a useful training module on bullying prevention aimed at mental health professionals, Understanding the Roles of Mental Health Professionals in Community-Wide Bullying Prevention Efforts (.pdf file). It reviews information on bullying and its effects, explains many of the roles mental health professionals have in solving the problem of bullying, offers suggestions for how mental health professionals can involve others in their communities, and shares several helpful resources.

It is hoped that making information like this more accessible will allow mental health professionals to approach the complex subject of bullying in a more informed manner and to make a difference in their communities.

Preventing Problem Anger

The psychological literature supports the efficacy of brief cognitive-behavioral treatments for individuals with clinically dysfunctional anger who are receptive to treatment. Delivered individually or in the form of group therapy, these treatment protocols generally consist of 8-15 weekly sessions. Support for preventive approaches is less clear, and this is unfortunate because considerable harm could be prevented by addressing anger-related concerns earlier.

At the
Anger and Traffic Psychology Lab, we are working on a number of projects designed to inform the development and evaluation of such prevention programs. One of the first gaps in the literature we must address is the lack of appropriate measures for assessing attitudes and intentions around seeking professional help for anger-related concerns. We hope that by developing such measures, we can inform research and practice involving persons who may be at risk for developing problem anger but who have not yet sought assistance. In addition, we are starting work to develop a brief screening and intervention program for college students across the range of anger-related issues. Focusing on increasing awareness of the role anger plays in one’s life and helping students overcome obstacles to treatment, we hope to increase the utilization of early intervention strategies to minimize harm.