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Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board

North Wales Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service



Coping with Bullying

What is bullying?

Bullying happens when a child is picked on by another child or group of children. It is hurtful and deliberate. Victims find it difficult to defend themselves. Bullying usually happens again and again, and can go on for a long time unless something is done about it.


It can happen in many different ways which include physical, verbal or emotional.


Children who bully may:

How common is bullying?

Bullying is very common and can happen in all schools. Surveys show that half of primary school pupils and 1 in 10 secondary school pupils are being bullied.

Why does it happen?

There is no single reason why some children become bullies or victims. Children who are aggressive are more likely to become bullies. They pick on children who appear different in some way - those who are quiet, shy, alone at playtime, and unable to defend themselves. Children who have an illness or disability or who are obese are also more likely to be bullied.

What effects does bullying have?

Being bullied can seriously affect a child's physical and mental health. This can include:

These problems can carry on long after the bullying has stopped.

Who and what can help?



Bullying can happens in any school, so it is important that each school has an effective anti-bullying programme. They should make it clear that they won't allow bullying or aggressive behaviour. Schools that have these policies, and who take every incident of bullying seriously, tend to have less bullying.


Other professionals who can help

Children whose health has been affected may benefit from some specialist help from their GP, school nurse, a social worker or an educational psychologist who will be able to offer help and advice. Children with emotional problems quite often need these to be treated directly, even if the school has managed to stop the bullying. Your GP can refer your child to a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS).

Useful Websites:



A bullying prevention charity with an emphasis on working directly with children and young people.

Bullying UK


Part of Family Lives, a national charity providing help and support in all aspects of family life.

Free and confidential advice telephone service:  0808 800 2222



Provides free and confidential telephone service for children

Helpline:  0800 1111



Provides advice, run training courses and produce helpful booklets and information about bullying

The Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA)


Brings together over 100 organisations into one network to develop and share good practice across the whole range of bullying issues.

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