Jan 23, 2020

I am honored to have received an invitation to speak at an event organized by the AshaUSA organization (ashausa.org) on Jan 26, 2020, in Edina, MN. The topic will be “Being Brown in America”, based on my first book about impact of bias-based bullying on mental health.

As per their website, “AshaUSA is a non-profit organization focused on creating healthy, happy, and harmonious South Asian communities by engaging and empowering South Asian women, men, and children through culturally specific programs and services. With the increase in population, challenges associated with acculturation in terms of health, youth development, and family relationships have become more distinct. There is a need for culturally specific programs that proactively address acculturation challenges for the South Asian community in Minnesota. ​AshaUSA will focus on implementing culturally specific programs that will proactively address acculturation challenges with the first generation immigrant community before they become major issues”.

I am looking forward to this presentation and am hopeful that I will be able to develop awareness about possible significant mental health issues triggered by bias-based bullying. I am aware that children are still being bullied around the country because of being “different’ in some ways. I hope my presentation will bring awareness to both adults and children as they navigate through this difficult phase.

Jan 16, 2020

There is no room for bullying and harassment in the workplace. Whether it’s a small company or a large corporation, every worker must be given the opportunity to work in a safe, positive, bully-free environment.

It really does not matter whether it’s a very small company with only a couple of employees, or it’s a large corporation with thousands of employees, it is important that all employees are treated with respect. Some employers and managers believe that the employees are getting paid for being there, and therefore, they must not complain no matter how they are treated. Well, the employees get paid for the work they do and the service they provide, and not for putting up with any form of bullying and harassment.

Most employees want to do a good job at their workplace. At the end of their workday, most employees like to feel satisfied that they have put in a good day’s work. They don’t need to go home having to deal with the after-effect of harassment at their workplace. If their performance is not acceptable, then that can be handled in a professional manner. All employees typically understand that there are job expectations that they must live up to and they are all aware that they will receive feedback and guidance about their job performance. But none of that has to be done in a harassing manner.

There is no reason why treatment at the workplace becomes the cause for a mental health disorder for an employee. It can be avoided and it must be avoided.


Jan 10, 2020

It is important that we continue to promote awareness about prevention of child sexual abuse as we move into the new year. This is an ongoing issue requiring constant attention.

The first step in prevention is to have the full awareness about child sexual abuse. There are many organizations that focus on awareness to make sure we are all prepared to try to prevent it. Awareness includes details on what child sexual abuse is, what it does, how it happens, how to recognize it and what to do about it. It’s also important to be aware of the statistics because it is not at all as infrequent as many people believe. One of the persons who has done extensive work in this area is Dr. Pamela Pine. She is the founder of the organization “Stop the Silence: Stop Child Sexual Abuse Inc”. There are also other organizations around the country who are doing some great work in this area.

Once a person is aware of the details about child sexual abuse, he/she will realize that it is extremely important for adults to take responsibility in preventing child sexual abuse and protecting our children. It is especially important for parents, family members, family friends, and other caregivers to be fully aware of the associated issues and work diligently to keep children safe from any possible risks. It is also important for ordinary citizens to be aware of the issues because it is possible that an ordinary citizen might suddenly find himself or herself in a position to do something about preventing possible sexual abuse of a child.


Jan 03, 2020

As the new year rolls in, we need to make a resolution to continue our efforts to end bullying in school all across our country so all children can experience a safe and positive environment.

It is unfortunate that many schools around the nation still continue to have to deal with bullying. No matter how frustrating this might be, all school staff must understand that this is a battle they must continue to fight. Children are not mature enough to be able to deal with bullying on a regular basis. They need help from adults around them. They expect the adults to maintain a positive environment so all children can focus on what they go to school for – “learning”.

It is also critical to understand that if bullying is allowed to continue, it can and will create severe mental health issues for many victims. We often read about many such victims around the country. During my presentations around the country I have personally met adults who are still having to deal with mental health issues caused because of bullying. Bullying is not just a minor irritating issue; it must be treated as a very serious problem requiring constant and consistent attention.

I hope all schools across the country will renew their focus on this critical matter, keeping in mind that many children’s wellbeing is at risk. Let us hope this new year will bring much more significant progress in this area.


Dec 27, 2019

It is not healthy for a person to have to tolerate bullying in the workplace on a regular basis. It can lead to mental health issues. It is therefore important to either fight back or quit and find another opportunity.

The following are some of the ways people deal with workplace bullying:

  • Ignore it and move on
  • Tolerate it and keep trying to do your job
  • Fight back
  • Quit and find another opportunity

Ignoring is a good way to handle this. But not everyone is able to ignore it, and also, if the bullying continues for a while, then ignoring it might simply become impossible.

Tolerating it would likely, in most cases, lead to mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, etc. This can have a devastating impact on a person.

Fighting back may seem difficult at first, but there are ways one can fight back in most cases. I talk about this in my book “How to stand up to workplace bullying and take on an unjust employer”. This can be stressful in a different way, but in my opinion, this is still much better than tolerating it. At least there is a good possibility that some positive changes might be incorporated by the company.

Quitting and finding another opportunity is probably the least stressful, but this is not always an available option for many people.


Dec 19, 2019

Keeping children safe is one of the primary responsibilities of the adults around them. And that must include keeping them safe from any possible risks of sexual abuse.

There are various situations that can pose threats to children in terms of possible sexual abuse. But there are many adults who do not feel comfortable in keeping an eye open for possible threats of this nature. Probably because many adults think of most people as good people who would not want to harm the children. But there are many instances where unsuspected adults have been responsible for sexual abuse of children. That is why I continue to make the point that parents and caregivers must make sure that the people the children spend time with can truly be trusted.

It is understandable that it is difficult to think of one’s boyfriend, or girlfriend, or a family member or a close family friend as a possible threat to one’s children. But one must keep in mind that even one episode of sexual abuse could scar a child for the rest of his or her life. If we can keep that in mind, then it can be a bit easier to keep a constant eye open for red flags. Keeping close track of what the children are doing with some of these adults and talking to the children often about their interactions with these adults are some actions one can take to keep an eye open for red flags.


Dec 12, 2019

The purpose of bullying is to exert control over another person and make him or her do things that the victim does not want to do. That is why the disease Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is sometimes known as the “bully within”.

Some children are able to ignore the bullying and move on – and they are the lucky ones. But all children are not the same. There are many who are not able to ignore it, and for them, impact of bullying can be significant. Some people argue that children need to learn how to deal with bullies because sooner or later they will most likely have to deal with bullies. But the problem is that as children, they still don’t have the maturity yet to be able to ignore bullying. Once they develop into responsible adults with a positive self-esteem, it typically is possible for them to ignore the bullying that they might have to face.

In fact, if we continue to let children fend for themselves, it may be difficult for some of them to develop the positive self-esteem that they need for future years. The consistent bullying they face during school years might come back to haunt them for many years to come. That is why it is extremely important for all adults to understand that bullying must be prevented and all children must be provided with a positive and safe environment during these developing years. Otherwise some of them may end up having to deal with mental health issues such as obsessive compulsive disorder.


Dec 05, 2019

Most employees want to do a good job for the employer they work for, and do not deserve any kind of bullying and harassment. If an employee is not meeting expectations consistently then there are other ways to deal with that situation rather than bullying or harassment.

Some supervisors and managers believe that yelling and shouting at employees is the only way to get them to get their work done. That in fact is a form of intimidation and should not be acceptable. Most employees want to do a good job, but if at times their performance falls below the acceptable level, then it is important for a supervisor/manager to discuss the performance with the employee concerned and discuss ways to help the employee improve his or her performance. All of this needs to be done through performance feedback, development planning, training, follow through, etc. None of this needs to be done in a harassing manner.

It is important for supervisors and managers to keep in mind that employees do their best when they are happy at their work. A manager’s responsibility is to make sure that the employees perform their duties well, while maintaining a positive and rewarding environment. The main point is that all employees typically understand that they need to meet performance expectations and that there may be consequences if performance is consistently below expectations, but there should be no room for bullying and harassment by the supervisor/manager.


Nov 29, 2019

Any amount of effort spent in prevention of child sexual abuse is absolutely worth it. In my presentations I always try to deliver the message that all children deserve this protection against risks of sexual abuse.

In the story I have written about in my book “Father figure – my mission to prevent child sexual abuse”, I had to put in a lot of time and energy to protect two young children from possible risks of sexual abuse. I had to spend even more time because I was an ordinary citizen – a family friend rather than a member of the family. I found it difficult to get systems (such as Law Enforcement and Child protective services) to act in a preventive mode. It took a lot of effort on my part to get some of the extended family members to act so the children could be protected.

As I was going through this process I found it to be frustrating and discouraging at times and it would have been fairly easy for me to give up and not worry about it anymore. But I did not give up until some protection was in place for the children. Many people who have read my book have commented to me that most ordinary citizens would have given up much sooner if they were in my place. However, survivors of child sexual abuse, who have read my book, have told me that they wish there was someone like me in their lives to protect them from what they had to experience in their childhood. This told me that all my effort was worth it and that is why I continue to promote that any amount of effort in this regard is absolutely worth it.


Nov 22, 2019

Most children can deal with some occasional mistreatment by other kids. But it is difficult for most children to deal with sustained mistreatment on a regular basis for several years. Bullies enjoy harassing other kids on a regular basis and that needs to stop.

That is why I find it difficult to understand when some adults say that kids just need to learn to ignore it and keep moving forward. The point is that a child can probably do that once in a while, but when it happens a lot and on a regular basis, it is difficult to ignore, and it starts affecting their emotional well-being. And if a child is not feeling well emotionally, it is extremely difficult for him or her to focus on school work.

Even many adults are not able to ignore bullying and harassment on a regular basis. That is why we hear a lot these days about bullying and harassment in the workplace. When even adults are not able to ignore consistent mistreatment, how can we expect young children to be able to ignore such behavior from others?

That is why it is critical for all school staff and parents to understand that schools must provide a bully-free environment for all children. It is not acceptable for schools to just establish a “bullying prevention” program and assume that all children will be safe. It is critical to make sure that the final goal of “bully-free” environment is achieved.


© 2017 - Sumi Mukherjee
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