The other week, I wrote about the – for me – long term impact of bullying on my mental health. Not long afterward, I came across this article from the BBC:
You can read the full article on the BBC News website, but the gist of what they are saying is that the impact of bullying on young people's mental health decreases over time, once the bullying has stopped.
One sentence in the article, however, jumped out at me:
16-year-olds who had been bullied at the age of 11 were still more likely than those who had not to have paranoid thoughts and a tendency for their thoughts to become derailed
Yes, the impact will reduce with time, but if it's still there after five years I would contend that it's unlikely to go away by itself.
"The good news is that some young people will recover from their difficulties. However, it is vital that schools have whole-school bullying approaches to help tackle this problem, and also that we can provide adequate mental health services to support young people when they are in distress."
What Dr Dubricka is saying is that young people will only recover fully if those that need it are able to access specialist mental health professionals who can provide the right support, and the right time.
I could not agree more.
There's no doubt in my mind that my teachers, parents, and others tried to do their best for me when I was being bullied – and afterwards. But they weren't trained mental health professionals. They couldn't give me the help I need.
Although teachers are more aware of mental health now than they have ever been before, they cannot offer the specialist support that vulnerable, struggling young people need.
Daily Post – Elastic