Bullying: Don't Suffer in Silence; the Anti-Bullying Alliance Explains Why It's Encouraging Young People and Parents to Make a Noise about Bullying during This Week's Anti-Bullying Week

Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England), November 17, 2015 | Go to article overview

Bullying: Don't Suffer in Silence; the Anti-Bullying Alliance Explains Why It's Encouraging Young People and Parents to Make a Noise about Bullying during This Week's Anti-Bullying Week


ATHIRD of children reported being bullied in the last 12 months, and as a new survey to mark the start of Anti-Bullying Week (November 16-20) reveals more than a quarter of young people bullied in school say it impacts their mental health, and that they experience anxiety, depression, self-harm and suicidal thoughts, the Anti-Bullying Alliance is urging young people, parents and teachers to Make a Noise About Bullying.

Lauren Seager-Smith, national co-ordinator for the Anti-Bullying Alliance, says: "What has come across really strongly from both young people and adults is that young people need support to talk about bullying.

"About half of young people don't report bullying to anyone when it's happening, which is a serious issue."

MAKE A NOISE THE key aims of the week are: 1. To empower children to make a noise about bullying, whether it's happening to them or to someone else, face-to-face or online. 2. To help parents have conversations with their children about bullying, both as a way of preventing it, and to help children who are worried. 3. To encourage 'talking schools' where all children are given a safe space to discuss bullying and other issues, and are supported to report all forms of bullying.

4. To equip teachers to respond effectively when children tell them they're being bullied.

5. To raise awareness of the impact of bullying on children's lives if they don't tell anyone it's happening, with a focus on the impact on mental health.

SUPPORT "WE can't just have young people speaking out without teachers responding appropriately, and parents being supported around the conversations with their children about bullying and what they should do," says Lauren.

"Children are often quite worried about telling their parents, because of how they're going to respond.

"If we don't support children to speak out, if schools aren't responding appropriately and if parents aren't supported to speak out about these issues, then children don't tell anyone about bullying and there can be a really serious impact on mental health."

While more than 16,000 children are absent from school at anyone time because of bullying, more than half of six to 15-year-olds don't know how to get help if they're being bullied. …

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