Trigger Warning: bullying
According to Herald Sun, students in the Australian state of Victoria are facing a bullying crisis.
Bullies told a girl to “f-ing kill yourself” in a viral video. The victim attended Greater Shepparton Senior College.
This isn’t the first incident. Bullying has been a huge issue across the Greater Shepparton area. One parent said:
I freeze every time I get a call from the school because I’m worried something has happened again.
As a result, parents are calling for more schooling options. The local government conducted a survey where 94% of parents said they needed more options in the area.
Cyber – bullying skyrockets during pandemic
Social media companies have failed to stamp out bullying
This infuriates me. Parents have alerted social media platforms like Instagram and SnapChat about bullying content. Unfortunately, social media companies haven’t acted appropriately. Social media companies haven’t taken harmful content down.
Social media companies need to be held accountable. Governments need to introduce laws holding social media companies responsible for what’s posted. If users flag bullying or illegal content, they should be forced to act. If companies fail, they should be heavily fined at minimum.
Bullying becomes discriminatory
Children are facing racism, sexism and homophobia. That really hits me hard.
It’s disheartening. It should be a thing of the past. I really hope that victims of such abuse can find at least one adult that they can trust.
Fighting bullying seems to be a never ending battle. That we are losing.
We need more mental health professionals
Late last year, I wrote about the mental health crisis facing Australian youth. Anxiety, depression, ADD/ ADHD and conduct disorder diagnoses are on the rise.
Just looking through Google, it’s clear to me that Australian schools need more psychologists and/ or social workers.
The Liberal National/ Coalition introduced a program to employ chaplains. Apparently it’s cheaper than employing psychologists or social workers.
The National School Chaplaincy Program is still around, despite controversy My concern is chaplains’ potential lack of training and education of chaplains, compared to social workers and psychologists. Will chaplains be able to deal with complex mental health issues that children are facing?
While chaplains can attain a Bachelor degree in Social Work or Counselling, they often obtain Certificate IV in Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care.
In contrast, an Australian social worker needs a Bachelor in Social Work at minimum. The Australian Society of Social Workers then assess aspiring social workers. Some social workers also gain a Master’s degree.
To be a clinical psychologist, the process is even more intense. According to the Australian Psychological Society, students have to complete a Bachelor degree in Psychological Science, plus an extra year for clinical study or an internship.
I’m not trying to disrespect chaplains. They can play a role in helping young people. However, psychologists and social workers can deal with complex social and mental health issues.
It’s time to take bullying seriously. Enough is enough.
If this post has raised any issues for you, feel free to contact:
Lifeline: 13 11 14 or http://www.lifeline.org.au
Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800 or kidshelpline.com.au
Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636