Bullying can happen to anyone. It might happen to you, your friend or someone online.
People being bullied often feel powerless and alone, or worried about what the bully might do next. It can happen at school, in sports clubs, social settings or workplaces.
Young people are increasingly being targeted in their own homes by cyberbullies on social media, in chat rooms, discussion groups, instant messaging or websites.
Online bullying can be hidden, particularly if teenagers use social media when they are alone in their bedrooms.
Being bullied can increase a person’s chances of developing anxiety or depression and the consequences can be devastating.
The tragic suicide of 14-year-old Amy “Dolly” Everett may raise concerns among family and friends about identifying when a young person is struggling.
It helps to be aware of any sudden and ongoing changes in behaviour or how a teenager expresses their feelings. They may have trouble falling or staying asleep, complain of restlessness or be irritable, tearful or upset most of the time. They may lose interest in things they used to enjoy, be easily distracted or become distant and withdrawn from family and friends.
If you are worried somebody is being targeted by a bully, try to have a conversation about it and listen to them; ask if they are ok. Or find out who they are comfortable talking to about these issues and suggest talking to a GP, a youth support service or mental health professional.
Seek advice and support for yourself and your loved one.
Call the Beyond Blue support service on 1300 22 4636 or visit www.beyondblue.org.au or any of the following sites for more information:
Or download the Check-in app. It’s available free at www.youthbeyondblue.com/help-someone-you-know/thecheckin