Australian mental health service ReachOut on Monday urged students, teachers and parents to “act early” to prevent bullying, after it was revealed a quarter of young Australians were bullied in the past 12 months.
ReachOut surveyed 14 to 25-year-olds across the nation, and results showed that one in four had been bullied in the past year.
Just more than half of all reported bullying cases occurred at high school, but, surprisingly, 25 percent of respondents who had been bullied had experienced it at a workplace. A quarter of all incidences also occurred in an online environment.
ReachOut CEO Jono Nicholas told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) that it was important to call out bullying early and at the source.
“We know this is a really big concern for young people and their parents,” Nicholas said.
He added that victims of bullying are often too scared to speak out to parents or teachers, so help from the outside could help end the cycle.
“Often people hope that it will go away, hope that if they’re quiet it will magically change,” he said.
“The most important thing to do is to act early.”
One former high school student, Isabel, 20, said while she was bullied for only a year throughout high school, she still felt the residual effects in her everyday life.
Meanwhile, Nicholas said there were programs and pathways in place to help those who are bullied end the cycle.
“We want young people, who experience bullying, and their parents to know that you don’t have to put up with it,” he said.
“There are things you can do right now to address bullying behavior.”