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Effects of school bullying can lead to serious mental health consequences in later life

According to a new survey being released by the Anti-Bullying Alliance, nearly half (44 per cent) of respondents who were bullied at school have reported an impact on their mental health in the form of anxiety, depression, self-harm and suicidal thoughts.

Many of the young people surveyed have spoken of how the effects of bullying have cast a shadow over their lives after leaving school. Alongside damaging their self-esteem and ability to form relationships, it has caused a significant proportion (34 per cent) to avoid school or college as a means to cope.

Whilst it’s clear that something has to be done, the findings have shown key deficiencies in the support structures required to help victims of bullying. Access the full research.

40 per cent of the bullied young people who were surveyed said access to a supportive teacher trained in dealing with bullying would have made a difference. Unfortunately, 70 per cent of the 170 teachers surveyed noted inadequate support for schools working with mental health issues and over half would value better training.

The support available outside of school also appears to be coming up short. In a separate survey conducted with the Royal College of General Practitioners, 92 per cent of 126 family doctors that were surveyed said they have no formal training, resources or information to help young people with symptoms that relate to bullying. Unfortunately, the same proportion (92 per cent) have confirmed the long-lasting effects of bullying, having seen the symptoms in adults who were bullied when they were younger.

“GPs have a very difficult job in identifying mental health issues in young patients as they are often not the primary reason someone has for visiting their GP, and because of the stigma that unfortunately exists around discussing mental health problems.” Dr Liz England, Clinical Champion for Mental Health for the Royal College of GPs.

“Bullying is a public health issue. We all need to play our part to stop bullying wherever and whenever it happens  – whether it’s in school, the community or online – but it’s vital that we also invest in support for children and families impacted by bullying. We would like to see more training for teachers and health professionals, in school counselling, and much needed funds for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.” Lauren Seager-Smith, National Coordinator of the Anti-Bullying Alliance

For more information on how you can get involved in Anti-Bullying Week 2015 visit:  www.anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk #antibullyingweek @ABAonline


The Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA) is a unique coalition of organisations and individuals, who work together to reduce bullying and create safer environments in which children and young people can live, grow, play and learn. ABA is hosted by the National Children's Bureau. For more information visit: www.anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk.

Page Published: 30/11/2015