"We need this to stop. Seriously. This has got to end and you must play a part.'" said Erin Iovinelli, a member of the Center for Youth Leadership and Mental Health First Aid Team during a press conference at Brien McMahon High School in Norwalk.
October is National Bully Prevention Month. In Norwalk, the Center for Youth Leadership at Brien McMahon High School is working to put an end to an issue affecting teens across the country.
Iovinelli said "It's a lot of people's tendencies to look away. I talked about it during the press conference - Pity vs. Passion. It's so easy to pity somebody to but actually step into their chaos and to be able to connect with them on a certain level and to understand what they are actually going through and help them get out of that, that is on a whole other scale."
Bullying is one of the four social issues the organization is focusing on - each represented by a color. Blue for bullying, orange for child abuse, purple for teen dating violence and green for mental health.
Mirella Fernandez, a member of the Mental Health First Aid Team said "A lot of people do not understand what bullying can lead to. It can lead to mental illness. If you are being bullied, you can go into depression because you don't want to be with people and you can develop all these mental illnesses."
"According to the Connecticut Commission on Children, students who report being bullied are more likely to get less sleep, miss school because they feel unsafe, feel depressed, attempt suicide, carry a weapon to school and experience dating violence." said Iovinelli.
Brien McMahon's Mental Health First Aid Team, one of two student teams in the State, is working closely with the Center for Youth Leadership to tackle bullying in the school.
Fernandez added "We are entering their chaos. We are going into their lives and what they go through everyday and it is important to be able to have someone there that can go to a student in the hallway or in a class and you notice that they are not ok and you just want to be there for them."
The Center for Youth Leadership plans to host many events throughout October bringing awareness about bullying.