(Originally posted on Safer Schools).
The theme of Anti-Bullying Week 2015, coordinated by the Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA) from the 16-20th November is ‘Make a Noise about Bullying’. This year, we are delighted that they are working in partnership us, here at YoungMinds to raise awareness of the impact of bullying on mental health. During Anti-Bullying Week a wide range of organisations, including YoungMinds aims to empower children and young people to make a noise about bullying – whether it is happening to them or to someone else, face to face or online. We want to help parents and carers have conversations with their children about bullying – both as a way of preventing bullying, and to help children who are worried about bullying.
We realise that schools have a key role to play as well, so we are encouraging ‘talking schools’ where all children and young people are given a safe space to discuss bullying and other issues that affect their lives, and are supported to report all forms of bullying. In order to do that, we also need to equip teachers to respond effectively when children tell them they’re being bullied and raise awareness of the impact of bullying on children’s lives if they don’t tell anyone it’s happening – or if they are not given appropriate support – with a focus on the impact on mental health.
During Anti-Bullying Week, ABA will release the winners of our Anti-Bullying Week competition with Wicked the Musical, as well as offering a prize to those schools that tweet their activity during the week and for the following week. All they have to do is post their activity using the hashtag #AntiBullyingWeek and they will then be entered into a prize draw.
We are also delighted to be holding an ABA and YoungMinds event at Speaker’s House, to raise awareness of the impact of bullying on mental health on Thursday 19th November. It’s encouraging to see that lots of MPs have already signed up. ABA and YoungMinds are also creating a resource for GPs, school nurses and health professionals to help them support young people and their families if they are experiencing bullying.
So how can you take part? Well, if you haven’t already (ATL has!), then sign up for our Thunderclap campaign. The idea is that supporters donate a single tweet or Facebook update. All of the donations are collected by Thunderclap and then at a pre-defined time all the messages are sent at once. The message is predefined and includes #antibullyingweek and #makeanoise. And if enough messages go out at the same time, we will start trending which will really help raise awareness.
Tell us your #Makeanoise message! We would like people to post a selfie of them with their #MakeaNoise #antibullyingweek message on our specially designed Speech Bubble, in the style of a comic-book ‘kapow!’ You can download the speech bubble template, write your message, take a selfie and tweet using the hashtags #Makeanoise and #antibullyingweek so we can find it and retweet.
Tell us what your school or college is up to during the week. Share your Anti-Bullying Week photos and film clips @ABAonline or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for the chance to win prizes for your school (£100 of High Street Vouchers and books from Penguin Random House). Entries should be submitted between the 16-27 November.