Fidelis Care Shines a Light on Cyberbullying and Encourages New York Youth to Make a Difference

Fidelis Care Shines a Light on Cyberbullying and Encourages New York Youth to Make a Difference

LONG ISLAND CITY, NY, April 8, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — In today’s world of technology, many youth experience the negative consequences of increased connectivity and socialization in the form of cyberbullying. Cyberbullying differs from traditional bullying in several ways, and as a result, Fidelis Care wants to educate adults and youth across New York about the risks of cyberbullying and how it impacts overall health.

Cyberbullying is harassment that takes place over digital devices, social media platforms, and gaming experiences. According to the Pew Research Center, 59% of US teens have been bullied or harassed online. Unlike traditional bullying, cyberbullying can take place 24 hours a day and includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, sharing personal information to humiliate, excluding someone on purpose, and more.

“The pervasiveness of technology has created new avenues for bullying, making it more difficult for our youth to escape its harmful effects,” said Fidelis Care Chief Medical Officer Vincent MarchelloMD. “Cyberbullying can be uncharted territory for parents and caregivers from past generations, so Fidelis Care wants to raise awareness to help adults and youth recognize negative behavior and provide support.”

Cyberbullying can lead to social and emotional distress, behavioral problems, and mental health issues. Additionally, youth who are bullied are at increased risk for substance misuse, academic problems, and violence to others. These effects on the mental wellbeing of youth can translate into physical health challenges later in life, extending the impact of cyberbullying long after it stops. The US Surgeon General recently issued an advisory stating the youth mental health crisis has been further exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

To further spread awareness, Fidelis Care is encouraging youth in New York to take action to promote prevention with their peers and community by participating in the Centene Institute Youth Impact Award for Cyberbullying Prevention. As part of the Centene family, Fidelis Care invites youth ages 14-19 to watch a short video and read a fact sheet on cyberbullying before submitting their own original visual art entry that conveys cyberbullying awareness and prevention. The contest is open to eligible youth nationwide. All submissions are eligible to account for up to 10 hours of community service. The contest is now open and runs until May 20, 2022.

Below are some tips from the CDC, American Academy of Pediatrics and the Department of Health and Human Services to raise awareness and prevent cyberbullying that can inspire contest entries as well as be used to handle situations in everyday life:

  • Talk about bullying to reduce stigma and identify potential instances of cyberbullying
  • Plan for what to do if witnessing or experiencing bullying
  • Teach youth to treat others respect and practice inclusivity
  • Create positive community environments that build confidence and social skills
  • If bullied, immediately stop communication and block the person via digital channels
  • Speak up if you feel uncomfortable with the comments or actions of someone
  • Understand the possible warning signs of emotional distress

For more information about the Youth Impact Award and how to enter, visit https://www.centeneinstituteaward.com/cyberbullying-prevention/2022. For more information on Fidelis Care and its activities, visit www.fideliscare.org.

About Fidelis Care:
Fidelis Care is a mission-driven health plan offering quality, affordable coverage for children and adults of all ages and at all stages of life. With more than 2.4 million members statewide, Fidelis Care believe that all New Yorkers should have access to affordable, quality health insurance. Follow us on Twitter at @fideliscare, Instagram at @fideliscare, and on Facebook at facebook.com/fideliscare. For more information, call Fidelis Care at 1-888-FIDELIS (1-888-343-3547) or visit fideliscare.org.

Contact: [email protected]

SOURCE Fidelis Care

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