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Summit Counseling Service to Host #UNBULLIED Events in Watford City and Williston


January 10, 2018 | View PDF

Summit Counseling Service will host an #UNBULLIED event in Watford City on January 20th, and Williston on February 17th.

Summit Counseling Service is a non-profit mental health and addiction treatment provider with offices in Williston and Watford City. Since opening its doors in 2015 with a single therapist in a one-room, part-time office, the office has expanded to include three locations, one each in Williston, Watford City, and Tioga, with eight therapists, two addiction counselors, and two office staff. The office serves hundreds of clients spanning Eastern Montana and Western North Dakota.

Summit is now looking to tackle the bullying issue by piloting their new #UNBULLLIED project.

According to Summit’s business manager George Owen, “We’re getting a lot of students who are getting bullied. We want kids to be able to identify the difference between bullying and someone being rude. What they don’t understand is that real bullying can go 24 hours a day. It can become a gang mentality over the internet. We’ve seen some suicides over it,” he said.

According to a study from the University of California at Los Angeles, 85% of girls and 79% of boys report being bullied either at school or online, and according to, 20% of kids who are cyber-bullied contemplate suicide. Both North Dakota and Montana have significantly higher suicide rates than the United States overall, and it is the second leading cause of death in North Dakota in people ages 10 to 24.

It is for these reasons Summit developed the #UNBULLIED program. “Jason Marman, who is our community engagement director, put together the trademark image of the superman,” said Owen. The mission of the events, which are similar between Watford City and Williston, is about empowering children and young people to celebrate what makes each of us unique, in addition to providing support, mentorship and a listening ear.

At each event, there will be games, inflatables, food, prizes and fun. “We have a bunch of college kids from Williston who are going to run games. We want the college kids to mentor the high school kids, the high school to mentor the younger kids. We want kids to interact face-to-face,” Owen explained of the event. Each participant will be given a card and asked to interact with another participants, and when they are done, their names will be entered into a drawing for prizes. Staff from sponsoring organizations will run games during the events, and Summit therapists will be available for meet-and-greets.

The project has gained the support of school districts in both cities, local corporate sponsors, and even the Lieutenant Governor and state Representatives. The Representatives have each submitted a video message for participants that will be played during the event in support of the mission of the program. Summit has even been asked to bring the program on the road, with requests from Fargo and Grand Forks. “Never in a million years did I expect that,” Owen said.

The events are free to participants, and any funds in excess of the costs of the events from sponsors will be put into a fund to offer sliding-fee-scale services. “We see so many people who don’t have money or insurance,” Owen explained. “We’re not doing this as a business proposal. This is for awareness.”

Ultimately, as Owen explained, the goal of the project is to let kids know that “if you’re in trouble, there’s a place to go. We want to teach them resilience-how to deal with people being mean.”

The Watford City event will take place at the Rough Rider Center on Saturday, January 20th, from noon to 4PM. The Williston event will be at the Raymond Family Center on Saturday, February 17th from noon to 4PM. Sponsorships are available. For more information about the #UNBULLIED project, visit or contact Summit Counseling Services at 701-334-6242.


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