(trigger warnings: bullying, suicide, suicidal ideation) Stop Bullying!

Every day, teens attempt suicide over being bullied. Many fail - the American Association of Suicidology reports that for every successful suicide 25 failed suicide attempts are made - but many succeed. And out of those thousands and thousands of teens, every so often one's death becomes a cause célèbre. Twitter and Tumblr flock to mourn their newly-minted martyr and decry the evils of bullying - but within a day or two that dead teen is forgotten as quickly as they rose to fame, to be relegated to the ranks of all the nameless suicides. Meanwhile, people preach about how bullying is bad.

I won't ask you to forgive me my cynicism, but I will ask you to hear me out. I don't jump to eulogise each dead teen, because I know how many there are. I know that this is not a unique event, that this is endemic. And while I hate bullying, I won't join in the preaching. Let me explain why.

I was bullied from a very young age all the way to about 15 years old, which socially isolated me further, wrecked my self-confidence, and triggered my chronic depression when I was 13. Out of multiple suicide attempts the first two were because of one of my bullies (yeah, I had loads...Never bothered to count them though).

So far, so pretty, shockingly standard. I would actually venture that I'm luckier than most people, to be perfectly honest.

And do you know what? As someone who went through about a decade of bullying, I get pretty pissed off when people think they can fix a problem affecting millions of people by tweeting, wearing certain colours or accessories, and generally crying about how horrible bullying is. I know that you want to stop bullying, but if you want to help people you have to...you know...help people. Be there for them, online or offline. I don't give a shit about your fine words if you'll ignore someone in their hour of need.

Only then will we stop bullying.

So how to help people, if not through inspirational Twitter speeches? The first thing is simply to be there for them. To actually pay attention to their moods and to help them out when they're down. To give them advice, if you've been in similar situations before ("just ignore them" and "I was bullied for 89256 years but I was strong" are two pieces of shitty advice). To empathise with them, but not to enable them.

And most important of all, if they are in crisis and you can stay with them, please do. It could potentially save lives.