Any behaviour that physically or mentally harms someone else can be considered as bullying.
We’re all aware of the typical school bully and more than one in five young people say they have been a victim. But bullying can also take place in lots of other places, including at work, at home and online.
Bullying can come in many forms. You may be bullied physically, with someone else pushing, punching or striking you, or verbally, with people calling you names, threatening to hurt you or spreading rumours about you.
Bullying is often associated with children and young people. If you’re bullied at school, you are more likely to develop mental health problems like depression, anxiety and eating problems even into adulthood.
There are also specific types of bullying, where people may target you because of your race, sexuality, religion, sex or the way you look. It’s not always obvious – but if you are made to feel less than the people around you, and the comments or actions of others are hurting you, that’s still bullying.
It’s always unacceptable and ignoring it is not the answer.
If you’re in a mental health crisis and need urgent help, call the Single Point of Access on (01472) 256256 and select option 3. They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Alternatively, you can call NHS 111 free from a landline or mobile phone.
If you’re being bullied, speak to your parents, carer, relative or teacher about the bullying, or ask a friend to do this on your behalf if you don’t feel like you can.
If you’re under the age of 19, you can also call Childline on 0800 1111. These calls are free and confidential, with the service available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Being the victim of bullying can drain your mental health. If you’re feeling depressed or anxious and you’re over the age of 16, talking therapies may help you cope. You can self-refer to Open Minds. If you’re under 16, speak to your GP.
Shout: Shout is the UK’s first free 24/7 text service for anyone in crisis and in need of immediate help with suicidal thoughts, abuse, self-harm or bullying.
Kooth: Kooth is an online mental wellbeing community with free, safe and anonymous support for young people through live chat.
Childline: Childline has lots of advice for young people on how to deal with bullying and bounce back from being a victim of it.
NHS mental wellbeing audio guides: The NHS have put together a series of audio guides to help you build your confidence.