“Understanding cyber bullying”

More and more search is showing a link between bullying and suicide, with cyber bullying being the most problematic. Please note, if your child is being bullied it does not automatically mean they will become suicidal.

Bullying is unacceptable and should always be stopped as soon as possible. We should all be working towards helping young people to live without bullying. Research suggests that out of all the forms of bullying, cyber bullying has the worst impact on our mental health. Cyber Bullying is often much more pervasive than traditional bullying; young people who experience cyber bullying are more likely to become suicidal than those who experience regular bullying. In the past traditional bullying may occur during the hours of school. Technology means a young person can be bullied in their home, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

It is important to know what bullying is and is not. Bullying is not honest feedback, if your boss at work tells you that you have been late to work every day this week and it is true that is not bullying.

It could become bullying if they humiliated you about being late in front of the entire workforce.

Bullying is often ongoing and humiliates or belittles the other person.

In terms of psychological impact, putdowns and virtual harassment, may have the same impact as severe physical assaults. Bullying can attack a person’s sense of safety, self-worth and security. Students who have been bullied often avoid school, have poorer academic outcomes and high rates of mental illness. Many adults report that decades later the bullying they experienced at school still affects them.

Always take bullying and particularly cyber bullying seriously. Even if the bullying may seem minor, it can have devastating consequences for some young people. Often the problem with bullying is the cumulative effective of it, one moderately upsetting comment may not be much but 1000s are a problem.

Anyone can be at risk of cyber bullying, even children as young as five.

Research suggests that both victims of bullying and perpetrators of bullying experience poor outcomes in life and higher rates of anxiety and depression.