Human Connection Will Always Matter: AI From A Counselling Perspective

  “AI is a Child of Humanity” T Panova

This week someone asked me why at my age I am so interested in AI. There are so many reasons, but it is mainly because I care about humanity. I want to learn so that I have a better understanding for my children, your children and my future grandchildren. Besides we are never too old to learn and now is the opportune time to do so.

As a Psychologist and former School Counsellor, I hope that you will explore resources and information that will guide you on a journey to understanding the complex world of AI. More importantly, I hope that you will bring humanity into all your conversations when it comes to AI. I believe that the therapeutic alliance will be more essential than ever before. AI won’t be able to connect the way a counsellor or therapist can. AI won’t be able to help in crisis situations. AI is not human although some may begin to treat it so. The counselling relationship is key and will always matter when it comes to being a helping professional. AI will most likely be used to augment and enhance counselling processes, so understanding how to utilize it will be of the utmost importance.

AI has the potential to impact an individual’s well-being, privacy, and autonomy. As counsellors, it is crucial to address the ethical implications of AI and ensure that its development, implementation, and use align with ethical standards. As counsellors and therapists our ethical standards will need to be revised.

Discussing AI from a counselling perspective will allow for a critical examination of its potential benefits and risks, fostering informed decision-making and responsible use now and in the future. Throughout these months in ETMOOC2 for which I am extremely grateful, I have been doing a lot of reading, discussing and thinking about AI. I hope that you too will begin exploring and learning. We are just at the beginning stages of paying attention and learning how AI will impact all of us. 

AI technology will most likely have psychological effects on individuals. For example, chatbots or virtual assistants designed to provide emotional support may impact the therapeutic relationship between clients and human counsellors. There is no way to predict how and what impact this will have. Time will tell, but we will need to assist clients who develop a trusting relationship with an AI instead of a human and the impacts that could potentially have on their therapeutic outcomes.

Addressing AI from a counselling perspective will allow for the exploration of the potential benefits and drawbacks of incorporating AI into therapeutic settings and school settings . We will need to consider the psychological impact on clients and students in the near future. How will you address these issues?

How will AI gather personal data, analyze emotional expressions, or even provide mental health assessments accurately?  It is important to discuss the potential impact of AI on emotional well-being and mental health, ensuring that AI systems are designed and used in ways that promote individuals’ psychological well-being. There is much to consider when it comes to AI.

How will AI enhance your counselling process?

Will AI help, harm or heal?

What part will you play in making a difference when it comes to AI?

How will you keep up and pay attention to the ethical considerations?

Will AI ever be able to show empathy, compassion, intuition, or cultural nuances?

I really like what Sherry Turkle asks, “Are we really ready to become a machine’s companion even if they are willing to become ours?”

As AI technology becomes more prevalent, individuals will continue to increasingly interact with AI systems in various domains of life. As Counsellors we can play a significant role in helping individuals navigate these interactions, offering support in establishing healthy boundaries, managing expectations, and coping with potential challenges that may arise in human-AI interactions. Knowing what resources are helpful will make a difference in you assisting your clients.

Ensuring that all voices are included in the training of AI systems so that biases will appear less frequently is essential. AI algorithms already perpetuate and amplify these biases. Let’s work together for positive change that is more inclusive for all.

Understanding AI from a counselling perspective will allow for discussions of the potential preferences in AI systems and their implications. We need to ensure that our, and our client’s privacy rights are respected and protected now and in the future.

By addressing AI from a counselling perspective, you as a helping professional can help raise awareness, promote responsible and ethical AI practices, and support individuals in navigating the impact of AI on their well-being and mental health. My suggestion for learning how AI will impact what you do is to start slow and learn as much as you can whenever you can. 

AI does matter when it comes from a counselling perspective. My hope is that you take a look at some of the resources below and share your resources, thoughts and ideas. Some articles could be used as a starting dialogue for professional development sessions, others may pique your personal interest in this topic.My suggestion is to put down or better yet put away your phones whenever you are face-to-face with another person. Have a real conversation making them the most important person in the room whether discussing AI or not. I look forward to staying connected with others who will commit to keeping AI and humanity at the forefront of their growth knowing that human connection will always matter.

AI References and Resources

Chat GPT Prompts and the School Counsellor: A Chat GPT Cheat Sheet

BEST PROMPTS  for the School Counsellor to use :


  • Chat GPT can make mistakes and give incorrect info.
  • It is important to start a new chat when changing topics.
  • Always fact check Chat GPT
  1. I want you to act as a School Counsellor.  I will provide some details about the current situation and goals for the student, and it will be your job to come up with strategies that can help me help the student make better decisions and reach those objectives. This could involve offering advice on various topics, such as creating plans for achieving success or dealing with difficult emotions. My first request is dealing with a grade 8 student dealing with (topic) ex: stress.  Next prompt – can you suggest videos? – next prompt- suggest age-appropriate articles. Next prompt- Create tip sheets. next prompt – can you suggest age-appropriate books – next prompt – suggest activities for each.
  1. Provide 20 resources on [topic].
  1. Help me find an interactive game or activity to help reinforce [concept].
  1. Suggest a book or article my students can read to learn more about [topic].
  1. Come up with 10 creative ways to teach [topic] to my students.
  1. Provide 10 examples of real-world applications of [concept] to help my students understand it better.
  1. Suggest 10 ways to differentiate instruction for students with different learning styles or needs. On the (topic).
  1. Provide 10 tips or strategies for helping my students improve their coping skills.
  1. Suggest 10 ways to incorporate technology into my lessons to make them more engaging and interactive.
  1. Can you provide some examples of how [historical event, scientific concept, etc.] has impacted society or the world?
  1. Suggest 10 ways to help my students develop their [ skills], such as communication,  emotional regulation teamwork, or leadership. Be specific as to age/grade level.
  1. Create a newsletter on (topic) for students/parents/ teachers.
  1. Tell me 10 great resources for teaching about (topic).
  1. Recommend  10 videos on ( topic) (grade level).
  1. 1O creative ways to make ( subject /topic more interesting) for students.
  1. Recommend 10 good podcasts related to (a topic that my students can listen to.
  1. Recommend 10 good articles on (topic).
  1. 10 effective strategies for teaching empathy to ( age/grade level).
  1. 10 ways students can develop their self-awareness and self-reflection skills.
  1. 10 engaging mindfulness activities for (age/grade level).
  1. 10 ways to develop positive peer relationships with peers ( age/ grade level).
  1. 10 ways to deal with difficult emotions ( age/ grade level).
  1. 10 tips for being resilient for (age/ grade level). 
  1. 10 ways I can be a better student  (age/ grade level).
  1.  10 activities for building (self-esteem, confidence etc. for (age/grade level).
  1. 10 specific activities for coping with (topic … anxiety).
  1. 10 self-talk statements to deal with (topic) age level/grade level.
  1. Simulate a job interview for an (age of student).
  1. List 10 possible careers for a student who is interested in …
  1. Act as a School Counsellor and help a student with the following concerns. 
  1. I want you to act as a School Counsellor. I will provide you with an individual looking for guidance on managing their emotions, stress, anxiety and other mental health concerns. Use your knowledge of DBT, CBT, solution-focused therapy, brief therapy,  meditation techniques, mindfulness practices and other counselling techniques to create strategies that a student can implement in order to improve their overall well-being. My first request is” I need someone to help me with a grade ___ student who needs help managing their (depressive symptoms).
  1. I want you to act as a career counsellor for an (age/ grade I will provide you with an individual looking for guidance in their life, and your task is to help them determine what careers they are most suited for based on their skills, interests and experience. You should also conduct research into the various options available, explain the job market trends in different industries and advice on which qualifications would be beneficial for pursuing particular fields. My first request is “I want to advise someone who wants to pursue a potential career in …
  1. Act as a School Counsellor I will provide you with some information about a student’s goals and challenges, and it will be your job to come up with strategies that can help this person achieve their goals. This could involve providing positive affirmations, giving helpful advice or suggesting activities they can do to reach their end goal. My first request is …
  1. Respond to this angry parent in a positive tone.
  1. Write an email to a parent in a positive tone letting them know …
  1. Create a tutorial on … topic/grade level.
  1. Create some hands-on activities on (topic/grade level).
  1. Act as a School Counsellor: develop a visual graphic for a student in Grade —- on the topic of —-
  1. Teach me how to use google sheets as a School Counsellor to …
  1. Create 10 reflection questions to discuss (topic) in a group.
  1. Create an inspirational blog post for students in grade on the topic of —-
  1.  Develop a 30-minute lesson plan on the topic of ____ from a School Counsellor’s perspective.
  1. Put _____ in alphabetical order.
  1.  List categories for each of these topics. 
  1. Create monthly topics on social-emotional learning for grade ____ students from a School Counsellor’s perspective. – NEXT PROMPT – Create activities for each. 
  1. Create 10 great tips that Elie Wiesel may give to grade —- students.
  1. Create 10 great tips that Malala Yousafzai, Greta Thunberg, Oprah Winfrey, Terry Fox, Rosa Parks, Anne Frank, Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandella, Leo Buscaglia or anyone who inspires you may give to grade — students. 

You could create a tips sheet for the students out of the responses.

  1.  Create 10 great tips that Carl Rogers, Bruce Perry, Ed Jacobs, Donald Michenbaum Dr. Erin Mason,  may give to grade —- students.

49. Generate an analogy for …

50. Imagine … how would you cope with …

51. Generate open-ended questions on (topic)

52. Suggest 10 interactive activities to explain (topic) from a School Counselling Perspective

53. Explain the process of ( nurturing healthy relationships) in ten steps.

54. Explain the concept of cognitive behaviour therapy ( in simple steps that will help me with (topic)

55. Provide me with 10 engaging energizers from a school Counselling Perspective that I can use with a group on (topic)

56. From a School Counselling perspective recommend 5 books on the topic of ____ that will. help with (topic)

60. Make a list of …

Ask Chat GPT to create 100 more prompts for School Counsellors especially when you have been inputting information as a School Counsellor.

You can also use your counselling skills when talking to chat GPT say … tell me more.


Now it’s your turn. Share any resources/ ideas/tips you have … You can add to this cheat sheet I created that I will be updating to assist you in the amazing work you do.

Mastering The Connection: It’s All About Relationships

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Truly fulfilling relationships are not about wanting to change someone or about finding someone who is perfect and without flaws, we all have them. It’s about having the courage to be yourself allowing yourself to be seen and having your partner or your friend accept you for who you truly are. If we want to build deep connections with another person we need to be vulnerable and let them see the real us. Discovering our true selves can be a lifelong journey that requires continuous effort and introspection.

In all relationships, we will make mistakes and can even end up possibly hurting the other person. Our partner or friend is not supposed to meet all of our needs, that’s up to us to do so. Having the courage to recognize the times when we need support from someone else whether that be a friend or professional is important. It takes courage to reach out especially for those in an abusive relationship, but doing so could help to make better connections and healthier decisions.

Conflict is normal in any relationship, but if we communicate honestly and find ways to work through the challenges, building trust in one another, a healthy relationship can be the end result. One way we can do this is by letting our partner or friend know when we need a break and by not giving them the silent treatment or in other words as Gottman calls it stonewalling, which can be emotionally abusive. If you are looking to improve any relationship Gottman has great tips.

Emotional connections are important, however, if we are always looking at the needs of someone else and not paying attention to our own, or if we fall into unhealthy relationship patterns we need to look deeper into the why and make some changes.

In healthy relationships each partner is looking out for the other, recognizing that they need to make compromises and that life can sometimes get messy. It isn’t about a long life together that is miserable, it’s about a life together that has way more ups than downs. A life where you can say I love and care deeply about that other human being be it a friend or lover.

There may come a time when you ask yourself do I need to end this relationship? While not easy, it may be necessary. I love this thread by Dr. Nicola Pera on when to end a relationship. It is thoughtful and wise.

Deciding to end a relationship can be a difficult and complex process. Here are some questions to consider:

  1. How do you feel when you’re around this person? Do you feel energized and happy or drained and unhappy?
  2. Do you trust this person? Do you believe what they say or do you feel like they’re hiding something from you?
  3. Is this a one-sided relationship?
  4. Is your partner/friend unable or unwilling to change and meet your needs?
  5. Does your partner/friend consistently break promises or fail to live up to their commitments?
  6. Are you staying in the relationship because you’re afraid of being alone or because you genuinely want to be with this person?
  7. Are my interactions with this person way more positive than negative?
  8. Are you compromising your values or sacrificing your happiness for the sake of the relationship?
  9. Are you constantly questioning whether this is a healthy relationship?
  10. Do you like who you are in this relationship?

Ultimately, the decision to end a relationship is a personal one. There is no one-size-fits-all answer. Considering these questions could possibly help you gain clarity and insight into whether ending the relationship is the right choice for you.

Letting go is never easy, and at times we all have to make the choice that is right for us. There have also been times when I have been open to new friendships along this journey of life. Friends who make me a better human being. Friends who make my world a better place by being in it. You know who you are. I am so grateful I remained open.

Healthy relationships are about mutual respect, trust, setting boundaries, love, acceptance and support. When we create foundations of trust and love that weather all the storms, relationships can be amazing.

I am grateful for all the incredible long-lasting relationships that have graced my life making me a better person along the way. I look forward to continuing to nurture and cultivate these connections for years to come. Mastering the connection, and having relationships that last a lifetime is not always easy, but it is worth all the time and effort that make it possible.

Adapting to Change: How Will Counsellors Stay Ahead of the Curve in an AI Era

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When it comes to AI Counsellors need to be knowledgeable and keep up to date. Your voice and expertise matter. How are you learning more about AI? When thinking about the impact of AI it can be both intriguing and alarming. What are your thoughts?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and YOU

  • How can AI be used to enhance your counselling process?
  • What are the potential benefits and drawbacks of incorporating AI in counselling?
  • How might the increasing use of virtual assistants and virtual counsellors, chatterbots, impact the counselling profession? How will you adapt to these changes and continue to provide effective services?
  • How can AI be used to complement human intelligence in the counselling process?
  • What ethical considerations should be taken into account when using therapeutic AI in counselling?
  • How will you address the potential impact of AI on the therapeutic relationship?
  • How will you navigate the emotional connection that some clients/ students may have with computer programs?
  • What do you think about therapeutic robots like Paro ?
  • How will you continue to prioritize the therapeutic relationship in a world increasingly influenced by technology?
  • How might technology enhance or detract from the therapeutic alliance?
  • What steps will you take to advocate for your profession and address ethical considerations surrounding the use of AI in counselling?
  • How can you collaborate with others who are interested in AI?

There is so much to consider. How will you stay informed and educated about emerging AI technologies? You can start by joining AI and You: Etmooc 2. It’s never too late to learn something new.

It’s OK to Say No

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Learning to say no can be challenging, but I respect when people admit they are just too busy or don’t feel like they can do something at this particular time in their life. I especially appreciate when people do not ignore your request, but actually get back to you by taking two minutes to say NO in an email or in person. When we take control over our own lives, set boundaries and say no, we feel better about who we are and stay true to our core values.

The next time someone asks you to do something don’t feel guilty, just respond with one of these choices :

  1. I’m honoured that you asked, but I can’t commit at this time.
  2. Thanks for reaching out and for the kind invitation, I appreciate the opportunity, but unfortunately, I am unable to at this time.
  3. Thank you for thinking of me, I’m afraid I’ll have to decline.
  4. That sounds so interesting, but I have to pass this time.
  5. I wish I could, but I have other commitments that I need to attend to.
  6. Thanks for the invitation, but it’s not possible for me right now.
  7. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to participate, but I appreciate the offer.
  8. I’m sorry, but I have to say no as I am overcommitted.
  9. Thank you for thinking of me, but I’m unable to accept this time.
  10. I’m sorry, but unfortunately, I won’t be able to make it.
  11. Thanks for considering me, but I’ll have to decline this time.
  12. I appreciate you thinking of me , but regretfully have to decline your offer. All the best.
  13. I appreciate the opportunity, but I won’t be able to take it on at this time.
  14. Grateful that you asked me, but unfortunately, I can’t at this time as I am over-committed.
  15. Appreciate the invitation, but I’m unable to at this time.
  16. With regret, I am unable to accept this intriguing invitation. My regards.
  17. At this time I am not adding anything to my work/tasks/projects as my family is the top priority.
  18. I appreciate your interest, but I can’t commit at this moment.
  19. Unfortunately, I have to say no, but thank you for reaching out.
  20. Thanks for thinking of me. I am swamped at the moment, so unfortunately I cannot commit.

I asked two people to do something in the past month and both said no. Although I would have preferred it if they said yes, I so appreciated their response and let them know that I respected their NO. Putting your own needs first is not selfish, people would rather hear a no and you be true to what you value. Being honest and upfront matters. So go ahead and say no and truly mean it. It’s OK.

Bringing Humanity Into The Conversation: AI Is Not Going Away, But Are We Going Away With It?

Is it artificial intelligence or artificial intimacy? Even chat GPT agrees that having a human interaction is essential.

“Human interaction is vital in AI and counselling because counselling involves more than just providing information or advice. It also involves building a relationship of trust, empathy, and understanding between the counsellor and the client. While AI can provide information and suggestions based on data and algorithms, it cannot replicate the human ability to empathize, connect, and understand a person’s unique circumstances and experiences. A human counsellor can pick up on subtle cues, provide emotional support, and adjust their approach based on the client’s reactions and needs. Additionally, counselling often involves exploring sensitive and personal topics, and it’s essential for clients to feel safe and comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings. Human counsellors can create a non-judgmental and supportive environment that fosters openness and trust. While AI can provide some benefits in counselling, such as offering access to resources and providing quick answers to common questions, it cannot replace the human connection that is essential in the counselling relationship.” Chat GPT

As a psychologist even though I am very interested in technology, I do not ever want to forget what matters when it comes to being with and working with people. It’s all about relationships. Yes, we can create relationships online (I am extremely grateful for my PLN) and on computers, but nothing compares to real humans being together sharing real life conversations where we feel understood and can express ourselves and let others feel heard with empathy. A real hug (with permission) is much better than a virtual hug or a hug by a robot any day in my opinion.

Empathy matters. A study by Konrad , O’Brien and Hsing 2011  reviewed thirty years of research that measured empathy among college students. They found a forty percent decline in empathy . Most of the decline was found in the last decade, so the researchers linked the decline to the presence of mobile communication.

When I sit across from my family members or friends without my phone on, I know it matters. I make a point of focusing on the people I am with and what they have to say. I am sure they know I am present. I used to do this as a School Counsellor before cell phones. I would say to the student, just know if the phone rings I will not answer it as my focus is on you.

According to Turkle, research by Prysblyski and Weinstein 2012 , shows that the presence of a mobile phone even on a table whether on or off does two things:

1. the conversation turns to more trivial matters

2. people in the conversation feel less connected to each other

Even a silenced phone can cause distance between us. It’s important to be present and encourage our youth to do so too.

Lived lives matter. How and what we do matters. I do not believe that machines will never be able to emulate the lifelong experience of a person or learn to be empathetic. In order to really be understood and feel we are heard on a deep level, we need to be human, we need to have lived a life. I do not believe AI will ever be able to replicate those lived experiences.

There is so much to think about and consider:

  • Will robots every really be able to interact the way a human does? 
  • When a robot reads to a child will it be able to show the love and affection and comfort that a human does. Will a robot be able to question and elaborate and giggle along with a child when someone reads to them?
  • Will the world be a better place because of AI?
  • Will education and schools be better because of AI?
  • How can we teach others to use a blended AI approach while highlighting the creative voice of their own?
  • What is it we value? Do values matter when it comes to AI?
  •  “Are we really ready to become a machines companion even if they are willing to become ours?”  Sherry Turkle
  • Are you ready to embrace AI fully with an open heart keeping humanity in mind? 
  • Do you really think the trust, empathy and understanding that comes from connecting with another person on a deep level can be replicated by a machine?
  • What happens when people try to use AI for the betterment of humanity, but it ends up causing harm?
  • What will matter in this moment of time? AI is not going away, but are we going away with it? Or can we find new even more creative ways of using AI in educating and helping others?
  • How can we empower people in the present to use AI for the betterment of humanity?

I am excited about the possibilities of AI in regard to how it can make the world a better place, and the opportunities to connect and help each other. I look forward to and hope AI finds a way to always keep humanity in mind. I hope you will join us as we explore this topic in session 4 in #ETMOOC2

There are so many more important considerations to ponder, and I’m curious to hear your thoughts.


Empathy Machines: Forgetting the Body in Digital Culture.”  In A Psychoanalytic Exploration of the Body in Today’s World, Vaia Tsolas and Christine Anzieu-Premmereur (eds.). New York: Routledge, 2017.  Reprinted in Women Reclaiming the City: An International Research Handbook on Urbanism, Architecture and Planning, T. Haas and M. Schwab. Lanham MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2022.

The Year of Not Living Thickly.” In Now Comes Good Sailing: Writers Reflect on Henry David Thoreau, Andrew Blauner (ed.). Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2021.

AI and the School Counsellor


AI can help School Counsellors and the possibilities are just beginning. Of course, we all need to understand AI better. This will be an ongoing journey that can help all those in the counselling field. By deepening our understanding of AI’s potential benefits, as well as its potential risks, School Counsellors can harness this technology to better support their students. As we embark on this exciting journey, we recall the origins of AI in counselling Eliza, a chatbot therapist.

Here is what Chat GPT has to say about how it believes it can help School Counsellors : As an AI language model, here are 20 things that I can suggest to help School Counsellors :

  1. Provide information on various mental health disorders and their symptoms
  2. Offer guidance on creating effective and engaging counselling sessions
  3. Suggest appropriate counselling strategies for different age groups
  4. Assist in developing counselling programs tailored to specific needs
  5. Provide insight on current research and best practices in the field of counselling
  6. Help with data analysis and evaluation of counselling programs
  7. Offer guidance on managing crisis situations
  8. Assist in creating resources for students and parents to access
  9. Provide advice on working with diverse populations and cultural sensitivity
  10. Help develop techniques for stress management and mindfulness
  11. Offer guidance on managing student behavior and discipline
  12. Provide information on the legal and ethical considerations in counselling
  13. Help create partnerships with community organizations and resources
  14. Offer advice on conflict resolution and mediation skills
  15. Provide information on college and career counselling resources
  16. Offer guidance on working with students with disabilities
  17. Help develop trauma-informed practices
  18. Offer advice on supporting students with addiction or substance abuse issues
  19. Provide information on LGBTQ+ issues and resources
  20. Help develop self-care practices for counsellors to prevent burnout.

ChatGPT and AI models are here to stay. I would suggest you fact-check GPT. It doesn’t always get things right. Chat GPT can get you started , but add your personalized touch as you do in all you do. Like Google changed how we get information. AI is going to change how we interact and do things now and in the near future. If you’d like to join me on this learning journey. You can join in on ETMOOC2. An educational free mini MOOC. You can register here

Here are a few resources to get you started thinking about how AI will impact you:

You can also explore other resources here.

I would suggest you: begin slowly, explore collaboratively, be curious and cautious, play away and have fun always keeping humanity in mind.

AI and You: The Journey Is Just Beginning

Are you ready to embark on a journey of discovery and exploration into the exciting world of AI? Whether you’re a visionary who dreams of what’s possible or a pragmatic problem-solver who likes to get their hands dirty, there’s a place for you in the AI revolution and in our mini MOOC.

As we navigate the ever-evolving landscape of technology, it’s important that we keep humanity at the forefront of our conversations. After all, the decisions we make today about AI will have a profound impact on the future of our children and grandchildren.

That’s why we invite you to join us in #ETMOOC2, where we’ll dive deeper into the complexities of AI and its intersection with our lives. This mini MOOC is a unique opportunity to engage with peers from around the world, share ideas, ask questions, and learn from each other.

You may just be starting to think about AI and its impact on you and the world. Wherever you are on this journey we’d like to have you join us.

So what are you waiting for? Register now for #ETMOOC2 and join the conversation about artificial intelligence and you. Let’s work together to create a future where AI serves the best interests of humanity.

Creating a collection of 101 creative ideas to use AI in education

Image was created using Midjourney

Check out this how to guide: where you will find an open invitation to all educators and students to co-create a collection of ideas on how AI tools such as chat GPT, DALL-E and Midjourney could be used in inventive ways for teaching , learning and scholarship. If you are a School Counsellor take a look at Slide #50.

Anti-Bullying Symposium: Let It Begin With Me

When it comes to Bullying and Cyberbullying in youth, you can make a difference, so let it begin with you.

When someone does or says something that is unintentionally hurtful and they do it once It’s being RUDE

When someone says or does something intentionally hurtful and they do it twice, It’s being MEAN

When someone says or does something intentionally hurtful and you tell them to stop or show them you are upset that is BULLYING

Used with permission by Trudy Ludwig

We all need to HALT when it comes to bullying and cyberbullying. If your organization needs a bullying policy you could start here with the beginning of one I created many years ago.

Humane Actions Leads to Tolerance

Anti-bullying policy


If we create a society where we treat each other with dignity and respect, we must begin looking at ourselves and see what we can change.

We need to :

A ccept ourselves the way we are at this moment

B elieve we are capable of change  

C are about the thoughts and feelings of others

D ecide to take action

E ncourage others to not be bystanders

Definition of Bullying

Bullying is … put your own updated definition here.

Affirmations for your youth:

I am responsible for how I act

I am responsible for what I say

I am responsible for what I do

I treat myself with dignity and respect

I treat others with dignity and respect

It is important in all communities to develop a climate of understanding where we all make a commitment to understanding ourselves and others better.

Sometimes we need to HALT. We need to stop and think about what we are doing to others and to ourselves. When we stop and reflect we can often see things from someone else’s point of view. We need to create HOPE for the future by what we do today.

Check here to see what Alberta says about bullying policies and legislation. We all need to work together to provide a safe environment for our youth. We need to find ways to promote healthy relationships for everyone. Cyberbullying is protected by law and there are legal consequences. The Education Act was revised in 2012 to define bullying as “repeated and hostile or demeaning behaviour by an individual in the school community where the behaviour is intended to cause harm, fear or distress to one or more other individuals in the school community, including psychological harm or harm to an individual’s reputation.” We all need to work together to make sure all youth are protected.

We all make mistakes and are in the process of learning. It is our job to help youth see that their actions matter, however we need to model for kids appropriate behaviour online and off.

You have such an opportunity to make a difference. How will you spread love and hope in the world, letting others know that bullying and cyberbullying are never ok?

I know that everything I say and do online and off matters. There are so many ways to improve your online behaviour , but focusing on 10 can begin the process for yourself today. PAUSE before POSTING might be one.

When you collaborate to STOP bullying , it can make all the difference. Who in your community can you collaborate with? Don’t reinvent the wheel find ways to make the wheel better.

Remind yourself that what you say and do can impact a youth for a lifetime.

It is so important to keep updated. It is becoming increasingly complex to detect when something is false information. You can use snopes and other online tools. Detecting false information is something we all need to learn how to do. Media Smarts provides digital literacy lessons for Canadian youth that you may find helpful.

There are so many ways you can find teachable moments in your day. Brainstorm with your staff ways in which you can intentionally create these moments.

When you create a healthy environment and relationship with youth will , they will find ways to make anti-bullying a priority.

So go ahead and treat youth with loving actions , being respectful of who they are and the developmental stage they are at presently.

You are already doing so many things right. Focus on all the things you have done up to now, and find small ways to make things better.

It’s up to all of us to work together to create safe communities. Find opportunities to have meaningful discussions throughout the year that will impact all in a positive way.

We are all in this together, learning new things everyday. So be patient with yourself and others.

Take time today to think of what you are doing right and what you could be doing better as a leader, educator or someone who works with youth.

In this ever changing world we need to be more prepared now than ever. We all need to keep learning and growing.

So let it begin with you when it comes to anti-bullying and cyberbullying initiatives. What do you plan to do?


Anti bullying books etc. google slides

Bullying Prevention NASP national Association of school Psychologists

Bullying Help: Resources and Partners | Learning for Justice



Cyber Bullying-Grade 7 AHS

Cyber Bullying Grade 8

Cyber Bullying – Grade 9 

Dare to Care programs

Make social media great again

OER commons Bullying

OER commons cyberbullying

Alberta Government Bullying Hotline 1. 888.456.2323

Kid’s Help Phone 1.800.668.6868

Calgary Police resources:

Bullying Calgary Police resources

Cyberbullying Calgary Police services

Parent Websites

  • Advice for Parents — Delete Cyberbullying
  • Family Education Network is a commercial site where parents find practical guidance, grade-specific information about their children’s school experience, strategies to get involved with their children’s learning, free email newsletters, and fun and entertaining family activities.
  • First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada: The purpose of the Caring Society is to promote the well being of all First Nations children, youth, families and communities with a particular focus on the prevention of, and response to, child maltreatment.
  • The Government of Alberta Parent Link Centre helps you to help your child by providing information and support for parents and caregivers on how to assist with your child’s learning, development and health.
  • The Search Institute is an independent nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide leadership, knowledge, and resources to promote healthy children, youth, and communities.


… and teach others to be the same.