MILWAUKEE — For the last four days, Victory Over Violence Week led students at a local high school through workshops designed to inspire and encourage good decisions.
On Thursday, organizers explored the dangers of bullying and the long-lasting effects it can have on mental health.
Heading into its last day of workshops, Victory Over Violence Week turned to a key issue high school students face: bullying.
“One way or another, we’re going to figure out how to make sure you know what you have to do and figure out why you are as important as you are,” said Michael Turner, Generations Against Bullying.
Students took part in role-playing bullying scenarios, where their classmates had to identify what happened and how to stop it.
“It made me feel upset and not want to come to school," one student said. “Why did they feel the need to do that?"
At the same time, Milwaukee police officers challenged students to share if they’ve been bullied or if they were the bully.
Digging deeper, mental health advocates gave them one simple tool to use when they want to offer someone a hand in tough situations.
“Sometimes it’s something as simple as, ‘You good, bro?’” said Montreal Cain, Executive Director, Mera Response Team.
The National Alliance on Mental Health says 1 in 6 teens between the ages of 6 and 17 experience mental illness and 1 in 5 have been bullied.
People with Thursday’s workshops say the best thing those struggling can do is knowing they have what it takes to make a change.
“Who has the power to stop bullying?” said Linda Lee, Generations Against Bullying.
On Thursday, Peace for Change Alliance is hosting a youth poetry night at Sherman Phoenix from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
This all leads up to a walk to the Martin Luther King, Jr. statue on May 1, marking the start of Violence Prevention Month in Milwaukee.