THE BLOG

Bullying Must Be Tackled by Schools and the Government

27/04/2014 16:07 BST | Updated 23/06/2014 10:59 BST

Bullying is definitely a big factor in Mental Health. Bullies often have been bullied themselves and it causes them pain and contributes towards their need to bully others, which of course isn't right but unfortunately happens. I remember when I was in primary school being taught about bullying, it wasn't such a big deal back in 2004, all of my class got on. We knew the boundaries and certainly didn't have teachers who allowed us to over-step them. Rules had to be followed and if you didn't follow them, well punishment occurred! I wonder if this same type of punishment still occurs now? You know the one, after-school detentions or writing the same sentences for 100 lines.

Nowadays though bullying is increasing and more and more people, particularly students are experiencing Mental Health because of the bullying they are receiving and it is all so unnecessary.

Researchers asked parents if their child had been exposed to bullying, at ages seven and 11. More than a quarter said they had been bullied occasionally and 15% bullied frequently.

These shocking statistics show us at least 15% of students aged between 7 and 11 years have been bullied and I question why this hasn't been tackled? Schools all receive some sort of funding to invest in each student and to develop their futures well, so if this money isn't being spent on investing on well-being, where is it being spent? I urge the government to tackle bullying by implementing more investment into schools, rather than make funding cuts to schools. They have been making funding cutbacks to schools and damaging students and their well-being.

Children who are bullied can still experience negative effects on their physical and mental health more than 40 years later, say researchers from King's College London.

And it isn't just 7-11 year old that experience bullying, it continues throughout life, even into adulthood!

Mental Health, in particular depression is known to appear after somebody, be it a student or an adult experiences some sort of trauma and imagine the damage bullying does? Imagine everyday you are being bullied for being you or just to occupy somebody else's time, it isn't fair or needed. Bullying can be stamped out, just like the stigma that Mental Health sufferers endure. It should have been acted upon sooner. Schools have anti-bullying policies apparently, yet not all of them it seems, do anything or act on the bullying issues face on. Are staff failing students now more than previously?

Interestingly the study carried out

found that those who were bullied in childhood were more likely to have poorer physical and mental health and cognitive functioning at 50. Those who were bullied frequently were more likely to be depressed and have suicidal thoughts.
This just proves why there is a greater need for investment from the government into schools, especially in regard to the mental well-being of students. Bullying can take years to get over, I have just got over being bullied constantly at secondary school for having Mental Health, and people laughed at me, called me "mad" and liked to know they were getting to me. It made my experiences of secondary school a living 'hell' and I wouldn't want anybody to experience the terror I had at secondary school, ever! Schools also need to get tougher again with their anti-bullying policies, they soon bring them out when Ofsted appear, yet fail to do so any other time, why is this? Don't get me wrong, some schools are great at having top anti-bullying policies and understanding Mental Health, but many do not and its time they did. Staff should be educated with the anti-bullying policies and detecting Mental Health.

"Prof Louise Arseneault, senior study author, from the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London, said: "We need to move away from any perception that bullying is just an inevitable part of growing up. Teachers, parents and policy-makers should be aware that what happens in the school playground can have long-term repercussions for children."

By cracking down on bullying, these students may not experience Mental Health and certainly will not have all the years of trauma and depression. Bullying can be tackled with the right policies and understanding, so now is the time to get back to those policies, make them firmer and be stricter when disciplining students or children, also understanding those who bully is a need for improvement, they might be being bullied at home and be calling out for help through bullying others.

There is a lot of work to do to reduce bullying, but I believe it is achievable if parents, schools and the government work together and make investment in improving staff education and training all staff to understand Mental Health, after-all Mental Health is a bigger part of our community today, than it ever was before. It should be understood! One big improvement though that should be made well-known immediately is the anti-bullying policies.