headspace Bathurst stands up to bullies


 Stand up to bullies

This Friday marks the 7th National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence and headspace Bathurst has aligned with the message of the day: bullying, no way!

Australian research suggests that up to 1 in 4 students have experienced some level of face to face bullying and a further 1 in 5 have been the victim of cyber bullying1. headspace Bathurst recognises that bullying can have serious long term emotional or psychological consequences and encourages all young people who are experiencing bullying to speak out.

“Unfortunately bullying is quite a common occurrence with research indicating it is prevalent during primary and early high school. Bullying is not normal, it’s not something that we should tolerate and headspace wants every young person to know that they do not have to accept this behaviour,” comments Nicole Manktelow, Clinical Lead at headspace Bathurst.

Manktelow asserts that if a child feels that they are the victim of bullying whether in person or online; they can tell a parent, a trusted adult or teacher immediately.

“We encourage students and parents to firstly contact the school and see if the issue can be resolved internally. If for whatever reason this isn’t an option or if the young person just wants advice or help, we are always available.”

Karen Golland, Youth and Community Engagement Coordinator at headspace Bathurst recognises that reporting bullying can be difficult and at times like this it’s important for all young people to be mindful of the signs that a fellow student or friend is experiencing bullying.

“If you see someone being treated in a way that isn’t acceptable, you can take action. Even if you don’t know the person who is being bullied you can take a moment to let them know you saw the incident and ask them if they are okay.”

Golland asserts that bullying is often underplayed as a joke and believes that validating a young person’s experience may be the first time they’ve been reassured that the treatment they are experiencing is unacceptable. “It seems simple, but it can be the first step to creating a space where our peers feel safe. If you witness bullying, don’t ignore it; say something, tell a teacher or trusted adult, and if it’s safe to do so, tell the bully to stop.”

Talking about bullying ensures that the problem cannot go unnoticed and allows teachers, parents and guardians to be aware of issues they may not have noticed.

If you are a young person experiencing bullying, know of someone who is or just have something going on, chat to one of our staff at headspace Bathurst on 6338 1100, visit the centre on the corner of Havannah and Piper Sts, or visit www.headspace.org.au/headspace-centres/bathurst/ for more information.