On the first UN International Day Against Violence and Bullying in Schools, ISPCC Childline is reminding all parents, carers, children and young people that the Childline Listening Service is always here for every child and young person in Ireland to talk about bullying, or any other issue which may be on their mind.
Childline is a free, confidential and non-judgmental service, which can be contacted by any child or young person up to and including 18 years of age from anywhere in Ireland. Children and young people can contact Childline online, by phone, or by text, for support in relation to any issue.
ISPCC Director of Services Caroline O’Sullivan said: “While significant work has been undertaken in recent years to combat bullying in our schools and communities, we know that it remains an issue. Bullying, unfortunately, does not stop in a pandemic. The Childline Listening Service receives about 2,000 contacts every year from children and young people across Ireland reaching out for support around bullying and online safety issues.
“They tell us about how they experience physical bullying, emotional bullying including taunting, name-calling and being left out and how they can also be bullied online. One young girl who turned to Childline earlier this year told us about how she was constantly targeted by bullies in class and on social media for how she looked. She felt as though she could not face her bullies again.
“Bullying of any form can have a significant impact on children and young people – on their mental and emotional wellbeing, as well as on their education. The negative effects of childhood bullying can persist into adulthood, causing depression, low self-esteem and social isolation. The impact of bullying in the short and long term remains an issue that requires a whole-of-community response.
“It is important that schools take a whole-school approach to preventing bullying. Schools can be effective in combatting bullying by working to create an ethos of good behaviour where pupils treat one another and the whole school community with respect because they know this is the right way to behave. It is important too that immediate supportive response plans are in place should bullying occur.
“Any child or young person affected by bullying, facing any other challenge, or simply seeking a listening ear, can access support by contacting Childline for free at any time of the day or night. Our volunteers and staff are here to listen to children, to believe them and to help strengthen their resilience, to help them cope with any challenges they face.”
The Childline Listening Service can be contacted 24/7 in the following ways:
Chat Online: Childline.ie
Call: 1800 66 66 66