Bullying and Suicide Prevention Bus Tours North America
By Greg Howard – February 4, 2013
Depending on your perspective, her music and personal style may fill you with excitement or make you roll your eyes. No one, it seems, has a middle-of-the-road opinion about pop music superstar Lady Gaga. However, we would argue that everyone can find value in Lady Gaga’s work to encourage young people. The pop superstar’s current North American tour recently rolled through our community, and when it did, the work of her non-profit Born This Way Foundation was on display in a very visible and unique way.
At every stop on Lady Gaga’s tour, concertgoers and non-concertgoers alike can step aboard the Born This Way Bus and get connected with a variety of resources. The bus brings a slate of anti-bullying, suicide prevention, counseling, and leadership programming aimed at young people ages 13 to 25 to each city on the tour. As an extension of the Born This Way Foundation, which has supported anti-bullying initiatives since its inception, the bus hopes to support young people who are attacked for being different.
The Born This Way Bus Tour is supported by a number of leading institutions, including the National Association of School Psychologists, the National Council for Behavioral Health, the MacArthur Foundation, and many more. The most interesting aspect of the bus tour, however, may be the Born This Way Foundation’s efforts to connect bus visitors in each city with local resources. Young people in need can talk privately with someone about their concerns, and information on local mental health organizations and volunteer groups is provided. For example, while the bus was here in St. Louis, bus organizers helped connect young people in need with the locally-based Megan Meier Foundation.
Here at the CyberBully Hotline, we’re impressed by how Lady Gaga’s foundation carries out its stated mission to “build a kinder, braver world.” Lady Gaga is a tireless anti-bullying advocate, and the Born This Way Bus is a prime example of how she is using her platform to support young people dealing with bullying and other concerns.
Like Lady Gaga, our goal is to help bring students who are struggling out of the shadows of their school communities. Our methods of achieving this goal are very different, but our objective is the same: empower troubled young people and assist them in getting the help that they need. Hopefully, our collective efforts to address bullying, suicide, and other tough issues will succeed at giving young people the kinder, braver world that they deserve.
School administrators can find bullying and suicide prevention resources in our Resource Center.