In a crisis?
For urgent medical attention, for example, if you’re worried about acting on thoughts of suicide, or you’ve seriously harmed yourself, you can call 999 or go straight to A&E.
What is bullying / cyberbullying?
Bullying affects over a million young people every year. It can happen as a one-off event or continue for a longer period of time. Bullying can affect anyone. It’s defined as a person upsetting you or behaving in ways that can cause you serious problems. Bullying includes behaving and acting in a threatening way, emotional abuse or manipulation, verbal harassment or intimidation, or sexually harassing someone.
Cyberbullying is very similar to bullying. Cyberbullying is a form of bullying that takes place online. On top of the bullying behaviours mentioned above, cyberbullying behaviours can also include posting someone’s private pictures or information, using another person’s account without their permission, or using another person’s identity without their permission.
When talking about bullying, we often use the acronym STOP: Several Times On Purpose – Start Telling Other People.
Both forms of bullying are hard to deal with, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to put up with it. Bullying can have a huge impact on your health. It may make you feel lonely and isolated, worthless, anxious, frightened and angry. Any form of bullying is unacceptable.
What can I do about bullying?
You need to tell someone about what’s happening.
If you’re being bullied at school, you may want to talk to your parents or your teacher. Sometimes teachers don’t know that it’s happening; all schools have anti-bullying policies to help tackle the problem. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to a teacher, a friend or your parents may be able to talk for you.
If you’re being bullied outside of school, you may instead want to talk to your parents, close relatives or anyone you feel able to talk to, such as a trusted adult.
If you are being bullied online (cyberbullied), you may want to talk to your parents or another trusted adult. There are steps you can also take, such as:
- blocking or deleting the person – this means they will no longer be able to contact you;
- keeping a record of any posts or messages you have received – this can be done using screenshots, and can help you provide evidence to site moderators or the police if necessary;
- reporting the bullying to the site moderator – most websites will have a policy for bad behaviour and how to report it;
- reporting abuse to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP);
- contacting the police if you feel in danger and have been threatened or abused (whether online or not).
It’s important you remember to take care of yourself when you are handling these types of situations. Look at Minding my Head for useful tools to help you do this.
Useful contacts – in a crisis
Dorset Mind isn’t a crisis service and we’re unable to help someone who may be in serious mental distress. Please use the following options if you or someone you know may be experiencing a mental health crisis.
Urgent medical attention: If you or someone else is in serious risk of death or injury, call 999.
Other crisis situations:
- Call your GP or other allocated health professional, such as your Community Psychiatric Nurse (CPN) or Mental Health Crisis Team)
- Call NHS 111 (out-of-hours)
Someone to talk to: If you’re desperate to talk to someone, the Samaritans can help – call 116 123 for emotional support and a listening ear 24/7. This is a freephone number. It can be called from a mobile that has no credit and the call won’t appear on the phone bill.
Useful contacts – who else can help?
Act Against Bullying aims to offer practical advice for people aged under 18 who are being bullied. The charity is run by volunteers and provides a wealth of information to support people who are being bullied. The charity also runs a range of campaigns to promote anti-bullying.
A collection of organisations and individuals who strive to work towards safe environments in which bullying does not exist. Anti-Bullying Alliance’s objectives include raising awareness of bullying and its effects on children and young people, creating an environment in which it is agreed that bullying is unacceptable, and making sure that teachers, youth practitioners, parents, carers, children and young people are equipped with efficient skills and knowledge to address bullying effectively.
A vast amount of information is also available regarding types of bullying and advice for people who are being bullied, parents, schools and teachers and people who were bullied as a child. Information regarding making a complaint about bullying is also available.
An anti-bullying charity working with schools, colleges and youth and community settings across the UK and Ireland. Bullies Out has an award-winning peer mentor programme called Peer2Peer and a number of interactive workshops addressing different bullying issues. Information is also available for parents, employees and employers.
A social enterprise which administers the BIG award – the national award for excellence in bullying intervention. They aim to prevent and reduce bullying, reward effective bullying intervention practice and make communities safer and more accessible.
Works with safeguarding and child protection partners across the UK and overseas. They aim to protect children online and offline; their main focus is on child sexual exploitation and online protection issues.
A social enterprise which focuses on internet safety for children, aiming to provide practical advice and tools for parents, teachers and children.
A non-profit organization aiming to tackle all forms of digital abuse and bullying online. Their community forum is available for people to ask questions and share their experiences in a supportive community. The CyberSmile Foundation’s Global Support Service aims to support victims of cyberbullying and online abuse. Trained support advisors, many of which have been in similar situations, work to provide tailored help.
One of the world’s largest charities promoting pro-equality and anti-bullying. It’s a digital charity which aims to empower people aged 12-25 to overcome bullying. Their main objectives are to provide innovative support, produce world-class pioneering research, to collaborate and to change the world.
Aims to make the Internet safer for children and families. A variety of research relating to a number of topics including internet safety, cyberbulling and social media is accessible via their website.
A charity working to prevent bullying and protect lives. Advice and information are provided for children, families and professionals. Their anti-bullying parent advice line is available to offer guidance and support for parents, carers or family members who are concerned about a child or young person being bullied in person or on social platforms or phones.
Provides help and advice about bullying and cyberbullying for teens, parents and teachers. The online forum provides a wealth of useful information and resources about bullying and what to do.
An online resource which is tailored for different age ranges and groups. It provides advice and information about online safety.
Provides e-safety tips, advice and resources for young people and children. Their hotline provides a place for people to anonymously report child sexual abuse images and videos.
If you are a professional who works with children or young people and you have online safety concerns please call them on their helpline.