Bullying Apps Offer Help To Troubled Teens

Published On: Oct 12 2011 03:55:26 PM EDT   Updated On: Sep 01 2011 11:35:46 AM EDT

If you don't think bullying is an overwhelming problem, download MTV's "Crossing the Line."

The stories in the forums are enough to break your heart. One girl writes that she's being made fun of in the wake of her father's suicide. A 13-year-old says she is being pressured to sleep with the boy she likes, and another young woman is struggling with her weight. They are the issues of today, and even if kids won't talk about them, it seems they are willing to type.

"A victim needs a place where they can just let go," said Amalio Nieves, who works for the Psychology Department at Broward Public Schools.

"Until you brought it up, I wasn't even aware there were bullying apps out there," Nieves told Local 10's Sasha Andrade .

Nieves and child psychologist Gihanna Jimenez applaud the effort.

"Collaboration is very important," said Jimenez.

"I think we have to use tools like these," said Nieves.

They say the concept can be both effective and hip.

"It allows them to know they're not alone, which is very important," said Jimenez.

"As I was examining them, I was thinking, 'Wow, we really need to meet kids where they are today,'" said Nieves.

Kids can anonymously get information, form an action plan and share stories with other victims by using the applications. However, the two psychologists agree that parents should monitor every step to make sure the tool never turns into a weapon.

"We don't want them coming across the wrong information," said Jimenez.


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