Bullying is one of the most preventable causes of mental health issues. This was a key take-away message more than 300 professionals and parents received yesterday evening when they attended the ‘Addressing Bullying Behaviour' seminar hosted by my office.
Winthrop Professor Donna Cross from the Telethon Kids Institute and University of WA delivered an outstanding presentation that outlined what we now understand about the impacts of, and reasons which cause, bullying behaviour, and the practical strategies that are effective in reducing bullying-related harm.
The perspectives of young people on bullying were provided by two remarkable Year 10 students from All Saints College in Bullcreek, Niamh and Sam, who have a role as Cyber-Savvy Leaders at their school.
I would also like to thank Eileen Kuruckchi, President of the WA School Psychologists Association, who spoke about the processes and programs that enable schools to holistically address and take a stand against bullying behaviour.
The topic of bullying is an issue that is often raised by children and young people in my conversations with them across WA.
In our recent consultation with over 300 children and young people about what makes an organisation safe and friendly for children, we heard that bullying by other kids was one of their main concerns, and importantly, that they wanted adults to listen to them and provide meaningful support.
From my discussions with young people who have disengaged from mainstream schooling, being bullied is also often raised by them as one of the primary factors they left their school.
As parents, educators and professionals who may work with children and young people, it is vitally important that we help them to grow up in safe and supportive environments.
Videos and other resources from the seminar will be available on the website next week.
Acting Commissioner for Children and Young People