Anti-Bullying Week 2018 (12th-16th November)

What is bullying?

Whilst there is no legal definition of bullying, it is widely acknowledged that bullying encompasses a range of behaviours intended to cause harm (e.g., physically, emotionally), is repeated, and is often aimed at wide range of demographic groups (e.g., sexual orientation, race, religion). Bullying affects children, young people, and adults, and can take place across a number of settings – in schools, the workplace, as well as in sports teams, in addition to online (cyber bullying). The list is by no means exhaustive.

Bullying is also common. For example, the World Health Organisation reports that one-third of children have been bullied by their peers. In the UK, Department for Education reported that 40% of young people had been bullied in the last 12 months and Ofcom (2017) reported that 1 in 8 young people have been bullied on social media. Within the workplace, six in 10 employees reported that they had been bullied or had witnessed bullying over the past six months. Moreover, within 19 higher education institutions surveyed by the University and College Union, one in 10 reported being ‘always’ or ‘often’ bullied. The impact of bullying mental health can be extensive – there is evidence that exposure to bullying in childhood contributes to the development of mental health conditions in adolescence such as anxiety and depression, as well as in adulthood.

Given the extent to which bullying can impact lives, Bullying UK (Twitter: @BullyingUK) lead Anti-Bullying week each year to raise awareness of the issue. In 2018, Anti-bullying week in the UK falls between the 12th-16th November, with this year’s theme focusing on ‘Choose Respect’.

Anti-bullying resources

There are a number of resources available, which provide information about bullying and advice on what the next steps can be.



Children and Young People


Blog post written by Dr Rachel Moss (Twitter: @DrRMoss), Research Associate on the PGR Wellbeing project at the University of Portsmouth (School of Education and Sociology). 




International Stress Awareness Week – is technology making us stressed?

Monday 5th November – Friday 9th November marks the 20th year of International Stress Awareness Week (#nsad), led by the International Stress Management Association. The theme for 2018 focuses on our use of technology and how this can result in conflicting outcomes – both beneficial in terms of helping us manage our personal and professional lives, but also the adverse (e.g., stress and beyond).

The relationship between technology and stress

The relationship between technology and stress is complex. There is evidence that greater exposure/use of technology (e.g., screen time, social media) is associated with increases in biological markers of stress, and may affect our sleep and memory. The adverse effects highlighted within the literature have been described as ‘the dark side of technology’, and also encompass distraction, dysregulated sleep, disrupted work/life balance, ‘Fear Of Missing Out’, and social comparison.  However, conflicting reports exist, particularly when social media use is considered.  Increasingly, technology is being used a flexible medium to help individuals manage their mental health and wellbeing. In short, the relationship between technology and stress is complex, and encompasses benefits, as well as potentially adverse effects (e.g., stress), which can impact on our mental health and wellbeing. The resources that follow can help to manage any stress surrounding your use of technology.

What to do in a crisis

If you or someone that you know is experiencing a life-threatening medical or mental health emergency:

  • Call 999 and ask for an ambulance (or ask someone else to call for you)
  • Go to A & E (or ask someone else to take you)

Urgent care, but not life-threatening

  • Call 111 (England)
  • Book an emergency GP appointment

Use the ‘I need urgent help’ tool offered by Mind.

Further information on what to do in a mental health crisis or emergency is provided by the NHS. Help for suicidal thoughts can also be found on the NHS website.

Additional resources to support your wellbeing

The following resources outline tips for dealing with stress, which can be beneficial in promoting a  healthy relationship with technology:

In addition, a selection of resources to support your general wellbeing can be found in the MICE Hub blog post ‘Today is World Mental Health Day’ , published on 10/10/18.

Blog post written by Dr Rachel Moss (Twitter: @DrRMoss), Research Associate on the PGR Wellbeing project at the University of Portsmouth (School of Education and Sociology). 



Mental health equality in Great Britain

Today, the Equality and Human Rights Commission published a pre-publication draft of their report ‘Is Britain Fairer’ – a review on the state of equality and human rights in Britain. The current blog post will focus on the mental health sub-theme.

Key findings

Mental health and wellbeing

  • Across England, Wales and Scotland, women reported poorer mental health and wellbeing compared to men, disabled people reported poorer mental health wellbeing compared to non-disabled individuals, and those that  identified as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans (LGBT) reported poorer mental health and wellbeing compared to those that identified as heterosexual (for LGBT – England only).
  • People who experience homelessness are more likely to have mental health conditions, compared to the general population.
  • There are no official/robust figures for the number or prevalence of people in prison who have a mental health condition in England, Wales or Scotland.

Access and quality of services/therapies


  • Mental health provision for those in immigration detention is variable – from excellent in Scotland (e.g., Dungavel) to significant barriers reported in England and Wales.

Looked after children

Deaths by suicide




The Governments of England, Wales and Scotland have highlighted their commitment to establishing a parity of esteem between physical and mental health, and have implemented policies which represent steps towards this.

However, further work (including collection of reliable data collection and evaluation) needs to be conducted to ensure that all individuals, including those under protected characteristics (e.g., sexual orientation, ethnicity etc.) can access specialist treatment. Moreover, that the healthcare experiences of those under protected characteristics improves, as well as their mental health outcomes.

The full ‘Is Britain Fairer’ report can be accessed here, whilst the executive summary (shortened, concise version) can be accessed here. The report has been published in pre-publication form, and will be finalised following presentation to Parliament.


Blog post written by Dr Rachel Moss (Twitter: @DrRMoss), Research Associate on the PGR Wellbeing project at the University of Portsmouth (School of Education and Sociology).