Rachel from our Wellbeing Team tells us more about Anti-Bullying Week, bullying and support for Cardiff students …
It’s Anti-Bullying Week from 14th-18th November 2016.
Bullying is something we often associate with school and growing up. As a child or teenager, it’s very likely that either you were bullied, or you knew somebody else that was. Young Minds state that ‘as many as 70% of all young people have experienced some form of bullying’.
The sad fact is that, as we grow up, bullying still remains – at university, in the workplace, at home, in relationships or friendship groups – and sometimes we aren’t even aware what is happening or of the effect it’s having on us.
How do I know if I am being bullied?
It may be that you find that when you are with certain people you always feel down. Perhaps they are making fun of you or saying horrible things, perhaps you feel excluded and left out or it could be that you are being threatened – ‘if you don’t come over, I’ll post this photo of you on social media’. Alternatively, bullying can be physical. Is someone being violent towards you? Pushing, pinching, and punching you?
Bullying can occur because of a specific target. So, for example, someone may bully you if you are a different sexual orientation to them, because of your ethnic origin or because of your size.
Anyone can be bullied and, sometimes, there is no reason at all.
The bottom line is – it is not your fault. Watch this video to see how bullying can affect anyone, at any stage of life.
Counselling Directory surveyed 1300 members of the UK public and more than 500 professional counsellors to find out the facts on how many people are bullied. Click on the image below for more information.
How might it affect me?
Being bullied can affect our mental health. We can internalise how we are treated by others and think it is our own fault: ‘I should’ve done this’, ‘why don’t they like me?’ or ‘perhaps if I do this…’ Hearing criticism from others can affect our self-worth and cause our own self-critical and negative thoughts. It can be hard to avoid harsh words – we take them on board, believing their words to be true and so we can start thinking negatively about ourselves. Negative thoughts lead us to feel negative emotions such as sad, anxious, helpless, and overwhelmed, which can then affect how we behave. For example, we might want to stay in a lot more and be on our own as this feels safe but actually it can leave us feeling more isolated, alone and unloved.
What can I do if I’m being bullied?
- Talk to somebody you can trust – it could be a friend, family member, tutor/supervisor or a counsellor at the Counselling, Health and Wellbeing Service.
- Write down what happened, when it happened, and who was involved. If the bullying is online, keep the evidence – save or copy any photos, videos, texts, e-mails or posts.
- Only spend time with people who make you feel good about yourself. If someone constantly puts you down they are not a real friend/ boyfriend/ girlfriend and not worth your time
- Be kind to yourself, and do things that make you feel good, relax and make new friends. You might make music; write lyrics; draw cartoons; dance; act or join a sports club.
What can I do if my friend is being bullied?
- Listen to your friend and show them that you care.
- Give them time and space to talk through what is happening and how they are feeling without asking too many questions or passing judgement.
- Let them know that this isn’t their fault.
- If you can, try and include your friend in your own social groups to increase their confidence.
- If you see your friend being bullied, and if it is safe to do so, say something to stick up for them such as ‘what you said just then wasn’t kind or helpful and it could hurt someone’s feelings’. Only do this if you are sure that the situation won’t become worse and that you or your friend won’t be in more danger by doing so.
- Support your friend to speak with someone else. So again, this could be with a family member, a tutor/supervisor, Student Advice at Student’s Union or with a Counsellor at Student Support
For more information about bullying and what to do if you are being bullied at University, please visit the Counselling Directory.
Contacting Counselling Health and Wellbeing
If you are struggling to improve your wellbeing, please know Cardiff University Support Services are here for you – there is no problem too big or too small and we would be happy to provide you with some support. We offer a range of flexible support options including:
- Counselling and Wellbeing Appointments
- Face to Face, Online or Telephone
- Wellbeing Walk-in: Drop-in Service running Monday to Friday
- Wellbeing Workshops
- Therapeutic Groups
- Wellbeing Champion Support
- Self-help resources
Bookable appointments are available via our online referral questionnaire. We also offer a Wellbeing Walk-In Service, Monday to Friday, 3pm to 3.45pm and Wednesday mornings, 9.30am to 10.15am, at the Student Support Centre at 50 Park Place. We also hold a walk-in service at our Student Support Centre in Cardigan House at the Heath, on Wednesday afternoons 3pm to 3.45pm.
Watch our video and see for yourself that we have friendly and approachable staff. Staff who are able to listen to you non-judgmentally, in a safe and confidential space.
If talking to a member of staff is something you are not sure about, why not chat to one of our Student Wellbeing Champions. They are trained student volunteers who can signpost you to support, offer you a peer ear and give you basic health and wellbeing advice. If you would like to see our Champions in action, check out their video.
If you are worried that you are experiencing physical symptoms that may be affecting your health, we strongly advise you to make a GP appointment to discuss this. If you do not already have a GP, please contact NHS Wales on 0845 46 47 or check out their website to view all of your GP options. The University also has its own GP Practice – Park Place Surgery for those in their catchment area.
Your feedback and help please
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Rachel, Wellbeing Practitioner, Counselling, Health and Wellbeing Team.
Your Student Life, Supported.
The Student Support Centre has a range of services dedicated to helping students make the most of their time at University, including: Advice & Money, Careers & Employability, Counselling, Health & Wellbeing, Disability & Dyslexia and International Student Support.
For further details of services, events, opening times and more find us on the University Intranet.