This week (Monday 13th-Sunday 19th November) is anti-bullying week. It is organised by Anti-Bullying Alliance and a whole host of charities and organisations are on board to support this, including several schools and other educational settings. This accompanied by an explosion of social media hashtags including #antibullyingweek, #stopbullying and #abw17. This year the theme is supporting equality and difference in schools with the tag line:
‘All Different, All Equal.’
The effects of bullying, especially on people’s mental health, are not unknown, yet it is still a relatively common occurrence; with many cases going unreported or unresolved. The impact of bullying on mental health can vary from low self-esteem and a feeling of worthlessness, to severe depression and anxiety; and in extreme cases, may lead to serious self-harm or even suicide.
Many of the MICE Hub’s dedicated team continue to engage in research surrounding bullying, particularly cyberbullying and bullying relating to obesity; including our project lead, Dr. Wendy Sims-Schouten. The MICE Hub team understand the effects bullying has on life-course outcomes for individuals and are determined to pave the way to making a difference through their research activities. To find out more about the research that our team are engaged with you can visit our ‘meet the team’ page, and follow the link to their research profiles where you will find links to their publications.
The Anti-Bullying alliance are also aware of the huge impact of bullying on the lives of most people in one form or another, especially children and young people. The link between bullying and mental health is supported by evidence. The Anti-Bullying Alliance says:
“Young people who have experienced bullying are more likely to experience mental health issues and those who have mental health issues are more likely to be bullied.”
With this in Mind, The Anti-Bullying Alliance teamed up with Young Minds in 2015 on a project to raise awareness of the impact of bullying on mental health. Here is a summary of some of their key findings:
- Bullying has a significant effect on young people’s mental health, wellbeing and identity
- A lack of response to bullying can cause young people to develop unhealthy coping strategies, such as self-harming; which may lead to them disengaging from learning and social activities
- Young people need support for their mental health through a collaborative approach that is led by them in a non-stigmatising manner
- Schools must provide a safe environment for young people to talk about their issues with bullying and their mental health
- The emotional needs of both the vicitims of bullying and the bullies themselves, must be recognised and supported by schools
- Adults must engage with active listening when a young person reports bullying
Bullying UK are part of Family Lives, a charity providing support to families to enable them to access information, advice and services to create a level playing field. Bullying UK is a fundraising campaign dedicated to the prevention and action against bullying. This year they have organised a variety of promotional activities including; Wear Blue Day on Friday 10th November as well as wristbands. They have also produced a variety of free resources for schools that anyone can access.
One of the issues that is commonly tackled by all organisations striving to beat bullying is the term, ‘banter’. There are many who are campaigning to see the reframing of this term as a recognised form of bullying, including the National Children’s Bureau. The MICE Hub team, Anti Bullying Alliance and Bullying UK all express strong opinions on this matter and look to see it seriously addressed in the future.
*Please note all opinions expressed and information provided is solely that of The MICE Hub and its associates*
*To reference/cite this article as follows: The MICE Hub, November 15th 2017, Anti-Bullying Week: 13th-19th November 2017.*