Educating and empowering young people to be assertive against bullying behaviour is the goal of headspace and the Supré Foundation.
The partnership has resulted in the release of a new anti-bullying booklet ‘Bullying – So not OK’ to be distributed across all Supré stores, and headspace centres, including Dubbo.
Program manager at headspace Dubbo Rachel Thomas said bullying can have devastating long term effects on young people and undervalues everything the organisation works to promote; particularly to respect each other and embrace uniqueness.
“Australian research suggests that up to 1 in 4 students have experienced some level of face to face bullying and a further 1 in 5 have been the victim of cyber bullying. headspace Dubbo recognises that bullying can have serious long term emotional and psychological consequences and encourages all young people who are experiencing bullying to speak out,” she said.
Ms Thomas said she encourages all students and parents to firstly contact the school and see if the issue can be resolved internally.
“If the young person just wants advice or help, headspace provides a free, confidential, anonymous space where you can chat with qualified youth mental health experts. Similarly drop into the centre at 23 Church Street or call us on 5852 1900,” she said.
Ms Thomas also encouraged anyone who may have witnessed bullying to take action.
“If you see someone being treated in a way that isn’t acceptable, you can take action. Even if you don’t know the person who is being bullied, you can take a moment to let them know you saw the incident and ask them if they are okay,” she said.
“Sometimes validating their experience is the first time they realise that how they are being treated is not acceptable.
“Ultimately, if you witness someone being bullied, don’t ignore it, say something. Tell a teacher or a trusted adult and if it’s safe to do so, tell the bully to stop.”
Supré general manager Elle Roseby said as a brand, Supré talks to girls from 13 years of age, upwards and the workforce is 98 per cent female.
“We are connected to girls, we are surrounded by girls and we have a deep commitment to supporting girls,” she said.
Ms Roseby said bullying occurs beyond the school yard, so in order to reach even more girls, the organisation has distributed 100,000 ‘Bullying – So not OK’ booklets through the Supré stores and headspace centres nationally.
“These booklets will act as a friendly tool for girls, a resource and reminder on how to combat bullying,” she said.
“If we can help even one girl, by opening up the dialogue, then we are on our way to reaching our vision.”