Bullying: Why Worry About Bullying

A relationship problem that requires relationship solutions, bullying is a type of abuse that can take different forms at different ages. You’ll find helpful information and useful links in this module.

Young people affected by bullying are at risk of serious emotional, behavioural, and relationship problems, and this should be of concern to all adults in the community, including volunteer mentors. Children and youth require support and positive role modelling, as they develop healthy relationships. The following are just a few of the risks faced by those who bully and those who are bullied:

Risks for children and youth who bully:

  • Not knowing the difference between right and wrong
  • Aggression
  • Sexual harassment
  • Dating aggression
  • Alcohol and substance abuse
  • Academic challenges and school drop out
  • Gang Involvement
  • Adult criminality
  • Relationship challenges

Risks for children and youth who are bullied:

  • Low self-esteem
  • School absenteeism and academic challenges
  • Depression or a sense of hopelessness
  • Stress-related health problems (e.g., headaches, stomach aches)
  • Social anxiety, loneliness, isolation
  • (Further) social withdrawal and isolation
  • Aggressive behaviours, possibly including bullying
  • Suicidal thoughts and suicide

Risks for children and youth who are both bully and victim:

Children and youth who are both bully and victim experience the most serious emotional, behavioural, and relationship problems. These young people require the most intensive support. Remember, as a mentor, you are not expected to solve these issues. You are expected to keep aware of what may be happening, to support your mentee, and to help your mentee find the additional support they need.