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Anti-Bullying Week: What’s research got to do with it?

Today marks the start of Anti-Bullying Week 2018. More than 1 in 5 young people in the UK say they’ve recently been bullied - and we know that those who are bullied are more likely to experience serious mental health problems, including self-harm.


We’re working with Jean-Baptiste Pingault of University College London on a 3-year project, investigating the direct impact of bullying on mental health.

So far, he’s found robust evidence that bullying causes many mental health conditions, including anxiety and depression, years later. Jean-Baptiste’s results have also revealed that for some young people, these detrimental mental health effects decreased over time - a hopeful discovery which could show that children exposed to bullying develop resilience. 

This is further evidence that we need to take the mental health impacts of bullying seriously and intervene as early as possible to tackle the issue. Through research, we can develop these interventions to offer young people the best possible support. 

Jean-Baptiste told us: "Through this research we’re hoping to build evidence which could transform our understanding of the links between bullying and mental health – as well as expanding what we know about the factors that put young people at greater risk from bullying."

Sophie Dix, our Director of Research, said: "It’s our lack of knowledge of what puts people at risk of bullying that’s holding us back in being able to offer people the support they need. Research could help us improve this support, as well as increase understanding of the perpetrators. Ultimately, this has potential to make life less painful for huge numbers of young people.”

Anti-Bullying Week 2018

When is it?

12th – 16th November

What’s it about?

The theme for this year's Anti-Bullying Week is ‘Choose Respect’. This promotes the idea that bullying is a choice - and that young people can set a positive example by opting to respect each other at school, at home and online.

Why is it necessary?

A survey by the Anti-Bullying Alliance found that 1 in 5 young people were bullied face-to-face at least once a week in the last 6 months, whilst 15% were bullied online. Bullying can destroy lives - and figures are simply unacceptable.

How can you get involved?

Anti-Bullying Week is an important time to raise the profile of the work tackling bullying head on - including MQ's research.

If you or someone you know is being bullied, contact the National Bullying Helpline. If this is having an impact on your mental health, there are organisations that can help. See our information on seeking urgent support and advice.

Last updated: 12 November 2018

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