Bullying major contributor to poor mental wellbeing, study reveals

More than a fifth of young people in the UK have been bullied in the last 12 months, a major new study has revealed.

The annual survey, published by charity Ditch the Label, looks at the impact of bullying on young people’s mental health.

Analysing the responses of more than 2,000 young people aged between 12 and 20, the researchers found very little year-on-year improvement in the prevention of bullying.

According to the report, one in five young people said they had experienced bullying in the last year, with three in four of those said it had affected their mental health.

Worryingly, nearly half of those who reported bullying also became depressed as a result.

The report also reveals that 33 per cent of bullied young people had suicidal thoughts, while a further 41 per cent developed anxiety.

Commenting on the findings, Children’s Commissioner for England, Anne Longfield, said the impact of bullying on young people can be “enormous”.

“More needs to be done at home and in schools to help those who are the victims of bullying and also, crucially, to prevent children from bullying in the first place,” she said.

The report authors added: “It is our hope that this new body of research will influence more preventative work, both internally and across the sector.”

The study comes after a similar report found that one in five children and young people report being “unhappy” with their lives, with bullying being a major contributor to poor mental wellbeing. The figures, published on World Mental Health Day, also show that some 22.4 per cent of 17 to 19-year-old girls have an “emotional disorder” as a result of online bullying.

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