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Program for Health Problems Related to Bullying

A child sits holding their head in their hands while wearing a backpack.
Bullying happens when a child is purposely mistreated by another person or by a group. This abuse can be physical, verbal or emotional. It can have devastating effects on the child. In some cases children who are bullied try to commit suicide. While bullying can happen at any age, it’s more likely to occur among school children. Both those who are bullied and those who bully others can have serious health problems as a result.

The Program for Health Problems Related to Bullying at Children’s National Hospital offers professional evaluation and treatment for children and teens affected physically or mentally by bullying. We are passionately committed to improving the lives of these children. In addition, we’re dedicated to prevention and we work hard in the community to inform the public about bullying and the health risks it causes.

Our Providers

Our pediatric specialists provide personalized care for your child’s physical, mental and emotional health needs.

Contact Information

For appointments, please call 1-888-884-BEAR (2327) and for information, call 301-838-8770.

Choosing Children's National for Care Related to Bullying

Features of the Program for Health Problems Related to Bullying at Children’s National include:

  • Experienced specialists. Children’s National Hospital is the largest provider of pediatric care in the Washington, D.C., area. As part of that system, our team treats the effects of bullying every day. We consider your child’s individual situation and provide expertise from our team’s years of experience of specialists in the needed areas of care.
  • Safe space. Our pediatric specialists are experts at talking with children, teens and their families. Our team creates a safe space for you and your child to speak freely about bullying to help get to the root of the problem and work together to find a solution.
  • Commitment to advocacy. We advocate for research-based programs to prevent bullying. To be effective, these programs should involve students, teachers, parents and the community. Program Medical Director Jorge C. Srabstein, M.D., has testified on Capitol Hill about the connection between bullying and public health problems in our society.

Services We Offer

If you think your child may be troubled by bullying, our program can help. Your first visit will include a thorough evaluation to find out how bullying has affected your child.

Based on this evaluation, treatment will be designed specifically for your child and family. It may include:

  • Individual therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Medication, if appropriate

Health Effects of Bullying

Young people who are bullied, and also those who bully, are at risk for a wide range of health and safety hazards. Our program is designed to address the physical concerns as well as the psychological effects caused by bullying. Children or teens who are bullied may:

  • Feel depressed or sad
  • Be angry or irritable
  • Worry or feel anxious or fearful
  • Have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Have frequent headaches, stomachaches, dizziness, or other physical symptoms
  • Be injured by physical forms of bullying such as being slapped, kicked, pushed, or another action

Bullying can lead to unhealthy behaviors such as:

  • Smoking
  • Abusing alcohol and/or drugs
  • Missing school and neglecting schoolwork
  • Getting into fights
  • Running away from home
  • Carrying a weapon to school
  • Self-injuries, such as cutting
  • Attempting to commit suicide


A child sits next to their lunchbag and holds an epi-pen.

Food Allergy-Related Bullying

If your child tells you about food allergy-related bullying, tell them that you believe them and will support them to address what is happening. Learn more from our experts.

Family Resources

At Children’s National, we understand that families have many questions about their child’s condition and care. In addition to any resources your provider may give you, our online resources can also support your ongoing treatment journey.

The following links may also be helpful as you learn about the risks associated with bullying.

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Help Your Child Grow Up Stronger

Read about everything parents need to know about kids' health, straight from our experts at Children's National Hospital.

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