VOOC: ‘Concern on the growing incidents of cutting’

POSTED: 01/22/13 12:38 PM

GREAT BAY – On St. Maarten, in high schools, cutting no longer means skipping classes. It now represents a self-destructive and alarming trend of behavior that is practiced by teenagers.

The Voice Of Our Children (VOOC) foundation therefore notes with concern the growing incidents of youth who are turning to cutting themselves as a way of dealing with the pain and trauma caused by bullying and other forms of aggression.

Cutting, with a paper clip, scissors, pen or other sharp object on the skin, is just one of a number of self-injurious behaviors that often go undetected. The foundation therefor urges parents to examine their children, especially students that are in high school. Some of the clues that parents can look for when it comes to self-injury include unexplained cuts and bruises, a change in communication, eating or sleeping patterns, or wearing long pieces of clothing to cover scars on wrists or arms.

Wendy Lader, PhD, clinical director of S.A.F.E Alternatives and co-author of ‘Bodily Harm’, says that children purposely cut themselves to control emotions.

“For kids experiencing intense emotions, it can be used to deaden the intensity. For those feeling a sense of numbness, it serves the opposite effect, helping them feel something.”  Other mental health concerns can also be detected such as depression.

In a volatile school environment, bullying is one of the main triggers of self-injury. The VOOC will continue to champion the cause for the elimination of bullying our society via their theme: Listen to the silent cries of our children.

“We confronted with someone else’s dilemma, someone else’s problems, it does not matter what happens to you. It matters what happens to them. If we choose to ignore bullying, it only magnifies the problem into horrific violence on the part of the aggressor and possible suicide on the part of the victim.

The cutting has to stop. School administrators are also encouraged to become involved in this fight.  Our annual anti-bullying panel discussion held in October 2012 revealed that the St. Dominic High School was the only educational institution with a zero tolerance policy and program in place against all forms of bullying. This issue is widespread and warrants urgent attention throughout the nation.

Reconnect with your children; listen and listen well. Let’s heal the wounds of our kids and heal the land.” A press release from the Voice Of Our Children stated.



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