Getting behind national day of action against bullying and violence

NO WAY: headspace Orange program director Alison Logan and engagement officer Verity Morris say adults and children need to work together to stop bullying on Friday.
NO WAY: headspace Orange program director Alison Logan and engagement officer Verity Morris say adults and children need to work together to stop bullying on Friday.

Friday is the national day of action against bullying and violence and headspace Orange wants both adults and children to get behind the push to end it.

Bullying isn’t just a personal act, with one in five students being bullied through the internet, according to national research.

The catch-cry for this year’s national day of action is “bullying, no way!”

Headspace Orange’s youth and community engagement officer Verity Morris said it can be hard for young people to reach out for help.

“At times like this it is important for all young people to be mindful of the signs that a peer or friend is experiencing bullying,” Ms Morris said.

“If you see someone being treated in a way that isn’t nice, you can say something.

“Tell someone; reach out to the person and see if they’re OK.”

She said bullying could be shrugged off as “joking around” but people needed to be aware of their behaviour.

“On the flip side it’s very important that we are mindful of our words and actions to be sure that we aren’t inadvertently hurting someone’s feelings,” Ms Morris said.

“Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes is a good step to take if you want to understand how your behaviour can impact another.”

Ms Morris said talking about bullying meant the problem did not go unnoticed and gave teachers, parents and guardian a chance to be made aware.

headspace Orange psychologist Nicole Manktelow said bullying could have serious long-term emotional and psychologist consequences 

“Unfortunately bullying is quite a common occurrence with research indicating it is prevalent during primary and early high school,” Ms Manktelow said.

“Bullying is not normal, it’s not something that we should tolerate and headspace wants every young person to know that they do not have to accept this behaviour,” 

Ms Manktelow said if children feel they are being bullied, either in person or online, they should tell an adult.

“We encourage students and parents to firstly contact the school and see if the issue can be resolved internally,” she said.

“If that isn’t a possibility, we are here to help.”

Ms Manktelow said young people could visit www.headspace.org.au/headspace-centres/orange or drop in to 264 Peisley Street or call 6369 9300.