Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 

Return-to-School A return-to-bullying for many

For immediate release: 20 January 2004

Return-to-School
A return-to-bullying for many Kiwi kids

The What’s Up telephone counselling service has reported an increase in calls from kids who are depressed and anxious about returning to school for fear of schoolyard bullying.

Recent statistics released by the service show bullying, both in and out of the schoolyard, remains one of the biggest concerns for both school-aged boys and girls.

Almost half the calls to What’s Up seek advice and help with peer relationships and bullying - an increase of almost four percent. More than 45 per cent of calls about relationships dealt specifically with peer group relationships. Bullying remained the biggest concern for boys and the second biggest concern for girls, especially between the ages of 5 and 12 years.

What’s Up has been operating since 2001 and has answered over quarter-of a million calls for help and advice. The service receives almost 500 calls a day.

“Our statistics clearly show more calls are received about bullying at the end of school holidays which in turn indicates the anxiety about bullying that many kids face on returning to school,” says Executive Director Grant Taylor.

Mr Taylor said New Zealand-based research showed mounting evidence that children were exhibiting signs of significant problems in their social and psychological development. “We have seen child development studies indicating a quarter of New Zealand children will experience a mental health disorder by age 15.

“A common misconception is that bullying is the concern mainly of boys and that it is normal and basically harmless. Calls to What’s Up show that concern about bullying decreases after age 15, but for both boys and girls in the 5 to 12 year age group, it is a serious problem that leaves its mark.” Mr Taylor says there is good evidence that being repeatedly bullied and having anxiety and depression in primary school years greatly increases the risk of severe mood and conduct disorders in teenage years and later in life.

“In response to the number of calls we were getting specifically about anger, we made a new category in 2003 to record this issue. Already it is accounting for 13% of all calls about emotional problems.

“There is a lot we can do to control childhood bullying, beginning with us all taking the attitude that it is not acceptable to harass and intimidate others”, he says.

Many schools and communities are making great headway in controlling the problem and it is important that bullying among children, either physical or mental, is not tolerated and is seen to be not tolerated. What’s Up’s call data suggest that the lowest proportion of calls about bullying come from the communities doing the most about bullying,” Mr Taylor says.

What’s Up offers a free, confidential, nationwide telephone counselling service for all school-age children in New Zealand. It is available between noon and midnight seven days a week on 0800 WHATSUP (0800 942 87 87).

What’s Up is seeking new sources of funding to continue its work. Those interested in supporting the service can find out more on www.whatsup.co.nz.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Ockhams: Pip Adam Wins Premier Book Award

A novel which judges say ‘will bring readers back from the dead’ has won the 2018 $50,000 Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize in the country’s premier book awards. More>>

ALSO:

Voyager Award Winner: “Sempy’s Xmas”

Congratulations to Kent Blechynden, who won a Voyager Media Award for this photo essay, published on Scoop in December.

Michael “Semp” Semple is an old school punk rocker from New Plymouth who is on the methadone programme... On Christmas day he thought he would be alone but two of his mates, “Mikey” and “Stacey”, turned up for some banter. More>>

ALSO:

Auckland & Christchurch: Bob Dylan Returns To NZ

The cross-generational icon will take in Auckland’s Spark Arena on Sunday 26th August and Christchurch’s Horncastle Arena on Tuesday 28th August. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Who Killed Jane?

This is an important book. Why? Because any publication that soberly and sensibly attempts to cast light on an unsolved murder is important, for the very real reasons that not only do the bereaved require and deserve a sense of closure, but that the murderer or murderers may be closer to being confirmed, arrested, tried. More>>

Comedy Fest: A Tasty Programme

2018 NZ INTERNATIONAL 26 APRIL – 20 MAY This April and May the 2018 NZ International Comedy Festival with Best Foods Mayo, hits Auckland and Wellington with one of the tastiest comedy line-ups of its 26-year-old history!... More>>

ALSO:

Max Rashbrooke Review: Ravishing Berlioz And Ravel

In this engaging, French-inflected performance, full of strengths, perhaps the standout was the mezzo soprano Sasha Cooke. Wellington has been visited by a few high profile singers recently, notably Anne Sofie von Otter, but few have impressed me as much ... More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland