Perspectives on what schools and mental health services can do about bullying of adolescents with severe emotional health conditions
Despite evidence identifying bullying as leading to severe distress, few studies have focused on bullied adolescents with existing mental health conditions. With increasing prevalence rates, it is necessary to understand how these adolescents can be better safeguarded. To address the issue, this study reports the rarely conveyed viewpoints of adolescents attending mental health services; clinically diagnosed with severe emotional conditions. To complement these perspectives, the viewpoints of their parents and teachers were also obtained. Thematic analysis identified school bullying as a serious stressor, contributing to and exacerbating their mental health need. They were prone to being trapped in a cycle of victimisation, complicated further by their preference for secrecy. Adolescents and their parents felt bullying problems could be appropriately managed if school staff were better tuned into the subtle signs of bullying, and managed disclosure more sensitively by working collaboratively with them and their assigned mental health practitioner. Recommendations were, a need for staff to better detect bullying distress and strengthen multi-agency links when bullying is suspected, to ensure quick, proactive intervention. Furthermore, schools could consider amalgamating the bullying and mental health whole school approaches, due to the intrinsic links between bullying and mental health
The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version.
Citation : Hart, T. and O'Reilly, M. (2020) Perspectives on what schools and mental health services can do about bullying of adolescents with severe emotional health conditions. Pastoral Care in Education.
ISSN : 0264-3944
Research Institute : Mary Seacole Research Centre
Peer Reviewed : Yes