By Melissa Meehan
You are not alone.
It’s a simple, but important message, from Kids Helpline – made even timelier following recent media interviews with Amy (Dolly) Everett’s family.
In A Current Affair story, Dolly’s parents told the Nine Network bullying was what led to her untimely death.
And sadly, it seems Dolly is one of many children bullied on a daily basis.
More than 3500 calls were made to the national helpline in 2017 by children and young people, and seven out of 10 complained of experiencing bullying directly.
Surprisingly, 73 percent of contacts to Kids Helpline about bullying in 2017 did not include a ‘cyber’ online or texting component.
Kids Helpline CEO Tracy Adams said it was important to acknowledge that regardless of how the bullying is done, the bullying behaviour was the same and we must look at ways to unpack, understand and mitigate this.
“Kids Helpline research has shown that bullying behaviours can be due to complex and diverse reasons, including underdeveloped emotional tools and coping mechanisms, limited parent interaction and peer pressure,” Ms Adams said.
“It’s also important to remember that the line between bully and bullied can be blurred. A Kids Helpline interim survey on cyberbullying in February found 52% of those who said they engaged in cyberbullying being cyberbullied themselves.
“Some said they bullied in retribution.”
Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800) is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for telephone and online counselling support.
Kids Helpline’s website also has tips for young people and parents and carers about bullying at www.kidshelpline.com.au
If you or someone you know needs suicide prevention support, phone Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit www.lifeline.org.au