"Talk to them" is the advice of headspace Dubbo centre manager Marijka Brennan to parents and teachers concerned their children or students are being bullied.
On Friday, National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence, she argued young people who felt they were being bullied in person or online "can tell a parent, a trusted adult or teacher immediately".
“Signs to look out for are changes in behaviour or mood as well as signs of emerging mental and physical health issues," Ms Brennan said.
"If you’re concerned, talk to them. Ask them if there is something going on, what lunchtime at school is like, do they feel lonely or isolated?
"Don’t forget to be respectful and empathetic in your response and understand they may find it difficult to talk at first.”
About 46.8 per cent of students have been bullied, according to headspace National which believes the figure should be much higher as many young people either don’t report or don’t know how to report bullying.
Christina Rodgers, headspace Dubbo youth care coordinator, said reporting bullying could be difficult. She urged young people to be mindful of the signs that a fellow student or friend was experiencing bullying.
“If you see someone being treated in a way that isn’t okay, you can take action," Ms Rodgers said.
"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."
The youth care coordinator said bullying was often underplayed as a joke.
She says validating a young person’s experience may be the first time they’ve been reassured that the treatment they are experiencing is unacceptable.
“It seems simple, but it can be the first step to creating a space where our peers feel safe," Ms Rodgers said.
"If you witness bullying, don’t ignore it. Say something, tell a teacher or trusted adult, and if it’s safe to do so, tell the bully to stop.”
Research shows that bullying can have serious short-term and long-term effects on a young person’s physical and mental health, school performance, family and relationships.
Parents and friends have been identified as being in the best positions to notice if a young person is being bullied.