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 USA 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.
Speak to the GP
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).
School nursing service
It could be helpful to speak to the school nursing service, as they may support they could offer to your child and could help liaise with the school. You can find the details by typing you Local Authority and ‘school nursing service’ into a search engine.
The school may also have a counselling service or staff rained in mental health support. For more information on school’s duties in regards to mental health, see Mental health and behaviour in schools - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
If you are considering moving your child to a different school as a result of bullying, it is important to be aware of the long-term impact of bullying, and to consider whether they would benefit from counselling and additional support even if they are removed from the situation.
Additional information and support
Services for young people:
Home - Kooth (operates in some local authorities)
Support for parents:
Suicide and self-harm
Managing stress and anxiety
Parent Advice Line
Guidance and support for parents and carers