Cyberbullying rife among young people according to new research

New research from headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation has found one in three young people have experienced someone spreading a rumour (33%) or posting mean or hurtful comments (35%) about them online.

The research, released today to coincide with National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence, also finds one in two young people had been cyberbullied throughout their life (51%), an alarming rate that sadly remains unchanged since 2018. A further one in four experienced someone threatening to hurt them online (24%).

As a result of these concerning new findings, headspace will today launch a new “bullying isn’t banter” campaign aimed at creating safer online experiences for all young people.

Jason Trethowan, CEO of headspace said, “It is really worrying that the numbers of reported cyberbullying experiences in young people remain so high as the impacts of bullying and cyberbullying can be significant and long lasting. We can see from the research that things aren’t getting better in this space and now is the time to do more.

“Throughout the next month “bullying isn’t banter” will see us encouraging young people and their family and friends to help create a safer online experience for all young people, and help turn the tide on these statistics to make real change.

“At headspace we’re inviting young people to participate in an online cyberbullying group chat and encouraging them and their families and friends to visit our website to discover real actionable steps we can all take to protect our loved ones, and create a safer online community.”

Nick Duigan, Head of Clinical Leadership said the research highlights an alarming trend in online behaviour among young people.

“Research is telling us one in two young people have experienced cyberbullying. We know that being bullied is associated with an increased risk of experiencing anxiety, depression and selfharming behaviours. This is really concerning, but also presents us with an opportunity to help create change.

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