November is Anti-Bullying awareness month here in the UK. These resources will help parents and educators to support children in knowing how to stand up to bullies.
What is Bullying?
Bullying takes place when someone is recipient of physical or verbal attacks.
Specific types of bullying can include:
- Racist bullying
- Homophobic bullying
- Sizes bullying
- Sexist bullying
- Religious bullying
- Socio-economic bullying
Bullying can occur as a one off, or persist over time. Regardless of how often it occurs, the impact can be profound and if it isn’t dealt with, it can impact adulthood.
The impact of Bullying
Bullying may seem harmless, but it’s important to remember that it impacts the person’s psyche. Some big side effects of bullying are: feeling isolated, alone, worthless, anxious, angry and down. When we choose not to take notice of bullies or we underestimate their impact, we can unintentionally strengthen these feelings of isolation.
Some who are bullied may develop depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. They may self harm or resort to drugs and alcohol.
Young People need more support….
In total, less than 8% of the total NHS budget is spent on children and young people’s mental health services. ¹¹
The number of A&E attendances by young people aged 18 or under with a recorded diagnosis of a psychiatric condition has almost tripled since 2010.¹²
Bettering Youth part of the Solution:
The studies demonstrate that wellbeing declines as children and young people get older. This highlights the need to equip children and young people with the skills to support their wellbeing as they move into the world. This analysis replicates other sources showing a drop in wellbeing over adolescence and into early adulthood. ¹³
In terms of intervention, it would appear that the most effective approaches focus broadly on well-being and promote strengths rather than primarily focusing on poor mental health. A whole-school approach that incorporates these factors in the curriculum as well as targeted support, staff development, working with parents and developing a positive climate, has been found to have a positive effect on both physical and mental health.¹⁴
The role of schools in the reduction of stigma, prevention, early recognition of mental health problems, early intervention and the promotion of recovery is seen to be key to the future mental health and well-being of children and young people.
As such, respondents have called for the inclusion of mental health in the National Curriculum so that children and young people might be able to take ownership of their mental health, and that they might improve awareness and remove the stigma associated with it. Schools have also been suggested to be a potential hub for mental health that will promote the engagement of families and communities. ¹⁵
Anti-Bullying week 2020: United Against Bullying
This year, the anti-bullying weeklong campaign will kick off on November 16th 2020. Though it might be worth noting that Kindness Day 2020 is Friday, November 13th.
The theme for the anti-bullying week is United Against Bullying. While there are numerous organisations who are running their own activities and providing resources, anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk has taken the lead. The week of campaigning will kick off with the help of Andy Day and his band Andy and the Odd Socks. Odd socks day is a visual way we encourage children and adults to wear odd socks in order to celebrate our uniqueness!
This is a quick look at all of the available resources that will aid parents and educators alike in supporting anti-bullying initiatives. It goes without saying that these resources are not exclusive to November, the month of anti-bullying awareness. Rather, they should be blended within the culture of the classroom and the school.
- Anti Bullying week Assembly presentation: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Anti-Bullying-Week-4146476
- Kindness challenge – great for classroom leadership: https://www.sarajcreations.com/2016/07/the-kindness-club-challenge.html?m=1
- ‘Before you speak, pause, breathe and think. It’s difficult to fix a wrinkled heart’ – activity to teach the lasting impact of words
- Movies and Bullying: Bettering Youth loves to use film in our lessons! These are great. https://www.educationworld.com/a_lesson/booster/movie-messages-about-bullying.shtml
- Understanding needs and feelings: https://www.educationworld.com/a_lesson/00-2/lp2062.shtml
- How can students help a peer being bullied? https://www.anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk/tools-information/all-about-bullying/peer-support-strategies
- Kindness Rainbows: https://www.teachinginroom6.com/2017/04/wonder-and-kindness.html
- Hands project – get to know me
I hope these anti-bullying resources help bring awareness to the lasting impact of bullies.
If you’d like to discuss boosting a child’s morale, implementing a whole school mindfulness programme that reduces bullying, or you’re looking to support a child with emotional or mental wellbeing please get it touch with Bettering Youth.