Brock tunes into national RCMP bullying videoconference for youth

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) are coming to Brock University Nov. 17.

Specifically, they’ll be on a computer screen, interacting with students, researchers and everyone else who wants to know more about bullying and cyber bullying.

It’s one episode in the series “RCMPTalks,” 90-minute, live, interactive videoconferences that offer advice and guidance on a wide range of issues.

In the Nov. 17 RCMPTalks: Bullying and Cyberbullying episode, motivational speaker Molly Burke will share how bullies tormented her as a student diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa, a rare retinal disease causing loss of vision, and how she struggled with depression and anxiety.

At the live stream event, to take place in Plaza 601C from noon to 1:30 p.m., participants can ask Burke questions and discuss the issue through social media.

The airing of RCMPTalks at Brock comes out of a partnership between the national police force and Brock’s Healthy Youth Program, or B-HYP, a research initiative that evaluates how mental and physical health interact over time during adolescence.

Department of Psychology professor Teena Willoughby says the partnership with the RCMP helps her with her research in B-HYP.

“Events like the RCMPTalks give youth a venue to voice their questions and concerns around health issues, especially mental health issues which can carry a large stigma in today’s society,” she says. “Working with the RCMP, who do great work engaging with youth, will provide me with a way to better understand youth’s perspectives.

“For the RCMP, their collaboration with us is a great way to mobilize new research into their programming, particularly given the widespread expected impact of B-HYP,” says Willoughby.

RCMPTalks covers a range of subjects – such as bullying, distracted driving, drugs and alcohol, and impaired driving – that are of special importance to youth.

Virtual classrooms accompany each videoconference, enabling teachers to deliver learning activities and resources over a period of one to two weeks leading up to the national event. During this phase, a team of online mentors will provide students with timely feedback on their virtual classroom postings.

Students from up to six Canadian schools are able to ask the featured guest speaker questions about the topic.

Kyle Rose, president of Brock University Students Union (BUSU) says he and his colleagues are excited about Brock joining in the national RCMPTalks videoconference, adding, “BUSU looks forward to long-standing collaborating between the RCMP and B-HYP. We will be supporting them as much as we can.”

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