Updated: Feb 7
When anyone over the age of around 40 today was at school, “mental health” awareness wasn’t a thing, and arguably, it didn't need to be.
Bullying was easy to spot. Usually, the big guy in the corner beating the hell out of the little guy in the corner. Easily identified, easy to stop, and best of all, isolated to that very corner. Now bullies take on all shapes and sizes. And they've gone global! Hiding in dark rooms behind glowing screens, flicking through their phones on a bus, or taking a short break online in the lunchroom.
Recent studies have shown that the new “art of bullying”, or “cyber-bullying” as it’s euphemistically phrased, caused 30% of young victims to self-harm and/or begin having suicidal thoughts and also found that 87% of youth today have witnessed cyberbullying in action (“Cyberbullying Facts and Statistics”, 2017).
Clearly, being bullied online can negatively impact mental health. Unlike being beaten in a playground where you have the chance to fight back or ask for immediate help from a teacher, online bullying is usually anonymous, and it spreads like wildfire, with other bullies chiming in for kicks. Further studies show this online bullying not only affects a person's self-esteem but can attack their confidence, and interpersonal skills. At any age.
An employer who is perceived to have committed an injustice can find himself directly named and shamed on multiple “rate your employer” sites, a plastic surgeon who despite years of training and all best intentions delivered a less than perfect outcome, can find himself “rated” on Google like a bad movie, or worse, buried in chat rooms where multiple patients can gather to decide if they are yet the perfect reflection of their Holywood idol, and if not, heap ridicule and scorn on the surgeons good name. Permanent and indefensible bullying.
People that have been bullied have often left school, work, and social networks to avoid the bullying. Professionals have been known to retire early, or sell up and move on. Try finding a male teacher now for your 8-year-old. The number of men in the profession is decreasing sharply and has been for years, with many retirees citing the increased risks of false sexual accusations, innuendo, and cyber-bullying as a prime cause. Where once a teacher was required to grade their student’s academic results, there are actually now websites where these students can “rate” their teacher. Permanently and indefensible.
In England, around one in eight men now has a “common” mental health problem, such as depression, anxiety, panic disorder, or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
Do you consider yourself to be one of them?
Every year, mental illnesses affect 19% of the adult population. Around 46% of this number are teenagers, and 13% are children. People suffering from mental illness may be in your family, they may live next door, teach your children, drink at your pub, work in the next cubicle, or sit in the same church as you.
Mental Health Awareness offers a chance to highlight the reality of mental health issues that affect many. Mental health is an essential part of our overall health, and it’s now more important than ever to support mental well-being for communities.
Mental Health Awareness helps people fight the stigma attached to mental illnesses,
to educate them, and advocate for change.
While relatively few people will be diagnosed with a mental illness during their lifetime, everyone faces challenges in their life that can impact their mental health, in some cases permanently.
Raising awareness about mental health issues, and their triggers, during these difficult times is vital. Taking action that helps break down stereotypes around mental health and getting people to open up and talk about their struggles can improve their relationships with one another.
The addition of social distancing, changes to work & family routines, and other effects of the COVID-19 pandemic may worsen existing mental health concerns and even trigger new symptoms. People are spending more time online, working remotely, or searching for new opportunities in housing or their career.
During these times, it’s particularly essential to promote mental health awareness and to highlight the additional risks posed by some of this extra time online - cyber-bullying.
There were around 6507 suicides caused by mental health issues in the UK in 2018 and men accounted for three-quarters of them. We feel more work needs to be done here.
On every level.
As the pandemic has everyone socially distancing and isolating themselves from each other, people’s reactions to these issues can vary, increasing the overwhelming feelings of anxiety, depression, and other pre-existing mental conditions.
Being kept away from your loved ones can be challenging. We’ve been forbidden contact with care home residents and older extended family members, family celebrations like funerals and weddings have been banned and a pint at the pub has been a luxury.
The very fibres of traditional friend and family support networks have been tested like never before. Making sure we check in with them regularly though can make a huge difference and will help us re-build with stronger connections.
We should continue to discuss and promote different activities that can help boost overall well-being while promoting mental health wellness. These connections can help reduce stress and you’ll see a shift in your mood. You’ll be less likely to see everything so darkly, to bully online, or if bullied, you’ll be in a better place to deal with it.
Let’s all be more aware of our surroundings and assist those who are in need.
If you, or if someone you know has been harassed online, on social media, or through negative reviews, contact us at YESpbm. We understand the connection between comments online and poor mental health better than most. We see it every day. We offer active support, coaching, and of course the technical skills required to remove the source of the problem - the negative content itself.
That means no more harassing and no online trolling.
YESpbm has assisted numerous clients in transforming their negative online presence into a positive and professional Online Reputation as well as Personal Brand, which ultimately increased their self-confidence and if they were in business, their bottom line.
If you’re facing mental health issues due to Online Bullying or Trolls, why not get in touch with YESpbm now. Mention this article to get a confidential 15-minute consultation worth £299, Absolutely FREE by clicking HERE- Calendar.
Contact these organisations if you need any other help or want to learn more about Mental Health.