Concerns about the impact of bullying

Bullying can impact on a child’s mental and physical health, sometimes leading to heightened levels of anxiety and depression. Some children and young people may self harm and have suicidal thoughts.

Bullying and trauma

There is growing evidence that bullying can lead to  post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Research from the States suggests that for children who had experienced bullying, 27.6% of boys and 40.5% of girls had PTSD scores within the clinical range.  Symptoms of trauma include flashbacks or nightmares, avoidance, heightened anxiety and a sense of being on guard.   Children may also experience anxiety, anger, difficulty with sleeping and eating and depression. 

If you have concerns about your child it is important that you share your concerns with your GP as soon as possible.  Your GP may make a referral to Child and Adolescent Mental Health services for support. You may also want to consider sourcing your own counselling support, and you can do this through the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).

If you are considering moving your child to a different school it is important to remember the potential impact of bullying as a traumatic experience, and to consider whether they would benefit from additional support at this time. 

Useful links


YoungMinds have further information on PTSD and sources of support.

The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel Van der Kolk includes up to date research and advice on the treatment of trauma.  As well as treatments such as CBT and EMDR the book cites the importance of holistic support such as group therapy, yoga and meditation, drama and communal singing. 

Suicide and self harm

The charity Papyrus-UK have a range of practical advice for supporting young people that may be suicidal. You can also contact the Young Minds Parent Helpline on 0808 802 5544.

Parent Advice Line

Guidance and support for parents and carers 

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