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International Research Reveals Young Cyberbullies Twenty Percent More Likely To Attempt Suicide

It's important to remember that people who demonstrate bullying type behavior often have issues that need addressing of their own. If you need help for cyberbullying or any other type of online negativity, follow the links throughout this article to access our trained support advisors.

A new study has revealed that young people who carry out cyberbullying are twenty percent more likely to have suicidal thoughts, self-harm and attempt suicide than non-perpetrators. The international study looked at more than 150,000 children and young people across 30 countries over a 21-year period.

The findings by U.K. researchers including academics at Birmingham University suggest that it is not just the targets of cyberbullying who are at risk of suicidal thoughts and that in fact it was the young perpetrators of bullying through social media and apps that were at a higher risk. The study also revealed that those who had been subjected to bullying online were twice as likely to have suicidal thoughts than those who had not been targeted.

“Recognizing that bullying is destructive for both the victim and perpetrator is crucial in developing effective support and education for young people. This new study brings into focus how seriously online abuse and bullying affects everybody involved.”

Dan Raisbeck, Co-Founder, The Cybersmile Foundation

Key recommendations highlighted in the report include comprehensive integration of cyberbullying prevention into existing school anti-bullying policies, access to professional mental health resources, anti-cyberbullying and suicide prevention/intervention training for teachers and more educational/support resources for the wider school community, including parents.

“Suicide prevention and intervention is essential within any comprehensive anti-bullying programme and should incorporate a whole-school approach to include awareness raising and training for staff and pupils.”

Professor Paul Montgomery, University of Birmingham

Researchers also suggested that schools should use cyberbullying incidents as an opportunity to reach vulnerable pupils, rather than to exercise discipline – in order to meet the needs of both victims and perpetrators. The belief is that the possibility of exclusion from school could contribute to an individual’s sense of isolation and lead to feelings of hopelessness, often associated with suicidal behaviors in adolescents.

If you need help for any type of negative online behavior, we can help! Use our Cyberbullying and Digital Abuse Help Center or visit our Total Access Support section to find out about the various ways we can help you with your particular problem. For further information about Cybersmile and the work we do, please explore the suggestions below.

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