This article covers:
- What is Bullying?
- Effects of bullying on mental health
- With whom or where to get help?
What is Bullying?
Bullying refers to behaviours that are intended to hurt you emotionally or cause you physical harm. It is often aimed at certain people because of their race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or due to appearing or being more vulnerable than others.
There are different types of bullying:
- Physical assault, such as hitting, pushing, pinching, biting, shoving, pulling.
- Social bullying, such as leaving you out on purpose, taking your friends away from you, mocking you in front of others.
- Name calling with words that are hurtful and often causes you to feel humiliated.
- Threatening, such as making silent phone calls or suggesting that they will hurt you emotionally or physically.
- Cyberbullying, sending offensive messages or making rude comments through digital online platforms.
“Know that bullying is never okay. In my experience bullying was so painful but things did get better. It’s important not to bottle it up or isolate yourself further as this can be straining on your emotional wellbeing. Speaking to others I trusted and getting the emotional support I needed was the biggest step in my journey.”
Lucy – Mindsum Peer Support Worker
Bullying can happen anywhere (e.g., at school, home or on the streets) and it can come from anyone (e.g., friends, family, or strangers). However, it is good to remember that bullying is always wrong. No matter who is involved, you should try your best to speak up to an adult who can help you.
Effects of bullying on mental health
Bullying is a serious problem, which can affect your mental health. It can have short-term effects on how you feel, and it can continue to affect you in the long-term.
Research in the UK by Ditch the Label charity suggested that reports of bullying have increased up to 25% from 2019 to 2020. Their study continues to show that bullying among young people can:
- cause low self-esteem and affect the way you see yourself
- increase the risk of developing mental health problems (e.g., depression and anxiety)
- cause you to feel lonely, excluded, and isolated
- increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and self-harm
- and worsen existing mental health problems that you might already have.
With whom and where to get help?
Never keep quiet about bullying. Get help as soon as possible.
One of the first steps to getting help is to tell someone. You might do this by letting an adult know what is happening. This might include your teacher, school counsellor or parent.
If the bullying is happening online, it is better to let a parent or carer know about it. You might also use the available report buttons on the social media platform to report the incident.
Working with a counsellor or therapist can also help you to recover from difficult feelings that you experience because of bullying. Speaking with a professional can help you to feel better so that the effects of bullying does not have to keep you from living a normal life.
You can book a free initial consultation with a qualified mental health professional through our online service.
If you don’t feel ready to speak to a therapist, you can book a free call with one of our trained Peer support workers, who have personal experience of coping with difficult feelings and are willing to guide and support you.
“Talk to someone straight away, don’t face it alone. Nobody deserves the pain of being bullied. Know that you are not the reason for the bullying and what they say is not true! Finally, as much as it may feel everything is against you know that things can get better.”
Lucy – Mindsum Peer Support Worker
Ditch the Label
You can read and access resources about bullying and other issues on the Ditch the Label website. Click here to access the link.
You can read more and access resources about bullying on the Bullying UK website. Click here to access the link.
National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC)
If you are worried about the safety of a child, you can read and access more resources about bullying and other forms of child abuse on the NSPCC website. Click here to access the link.
From Cyberbully To Thoughtful: Parents’ Guide
A great guide about cyber bullies and how to help them become thoughtful. Click here to access the guide.