Anti-Bullying Week: Bullying in schools can lead to mental health issues

Nearly half of of pupils bullied at school reported experiencing mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, self-harm and suicidal ideation as a result.

A new report by the Anti-bullying Alliance shows that 44% of young people believe that having been bullied at school has had an impact on their mental health.

A staggering 70% of the 170 teachers surveyed said there was inadequate support for schools working with children with mental health issues and over half would value better training, after a large number of pupils revealed that access to a supportive teacher trained in dealing with bullying would have made a difference.

The report quotes a young person saying that  being verbally and physically abused at school led to them developing severe mental health issues at the time: “I was afraid of going to school, so had to move. It was a dark and scary time.”

SCHOOLS NorthEast recognised this growing issue and addressed it at the Annual Summit in October, where a school-led commission into the mental health of pupils was launched.

The initiative will bring together school leaders and experts in a range of statutory and support bodies to provide solutions the problems affecting the mental health of schoolchildren across the North East.

Mike Parker, Director of SCHOOLS NorthEast, said: “This will not be about re-inventing the wheel, it is about how we get that wheel turning more efficiently.

“We are under no illusions as to the magnitude of the issue and the difficulties in successfully addressing the problem. But, unless we start now to create a coherent and adoptable approach, these issues will only get worse.”

Further reading: 
DfE’s Mental Health Champion Natasha Devon MBE gives advice for a North East Mental Health Commission 



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