Oct 14, 2021

In my book titled “A Life Interrupted – the story of my battle with bullying and obsessive compulsive disorder” I talk about my recovery from a devastating mental illness to illustrate the fact that bullying can have very serious impacts on the lives of the victims. And the mental health impact can linger on for many years beyond high school years.

It is true that some victims of bullying are able to move on without any serious impacts, but for many victims that is not the case. In many situations debilitating mental illness has ruined lives of victims of childhood bullying. As I traveled around the country for my speaking engagements, I have met people who are in their forties and fifties, and have still not been able to get beyond the impact of the bullying they faced during school years.

One of the problems is that the school staff are not always able to detect the issue in a timely manner. If a victim of bullying can start receiving validation and therapy at an early stage, it is very likely that he/she will be able to recover within a reasonable time frame and may be able to avoid significant long term impact. For example, if a victim of bullying in grade 5 or 6 starts receiving therapy and support immediately, he/she may be able to recover from the impact by the time high school years roll in.

That is why it is very important for school staff not to ignore any complaints of bullying by anyone in a school. And if a complaint is received, then appropriate support and therapy must immediately be provided to the victim as long as he/she needs it. It is critical for school staff to make the assumption that all bullied children need help and make arrangements to provide that help in a timely manner. This is extremely important unless bullying is totally eradicated from the school environment.

© 2017 - Sumi Mukherjee
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