Early intervention vital to stopping bullying

New research that one in five young Australians experiences cyber-bullying underlines the need to understand the impact this behaviour may have on a young person and that providing early support to prevent long-term mental health problems is vital.

headspace Chief Executive Officer, Mr Chris Tanti, said the data - released today by Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Communications Paul Fletcher - confirmed the rise in prominence of cyber-bullying.

"Cyber-bulling can have a destructive impact on young people, particularly when it is combined with other forms of bullying," Mr Tanti said.

"Seventy five per cent of serious mental health issues emerge before the age of 25. We know that if they aren't dealt with in their early stages, the impact on other areas of a person's life may be felt well into their future.

"As the only organisation in the world offering a systematic approach to early intervention support for young people experiencing a range of mental health issues, headspace knows that by providing the right level of support for a young person we can make a positive difference to their lives.

"It is vital young people have access to support and counselling as soon as cyber-bullying and bullying occurs. It is encouraging the Federal Government is making online safety for children a priority.

"headspace understands the important role social media can play in connectivity for young people and the benefits that brings. Equally we understand that many young people and their families have concerns about, or have been impacted by, online bullying, so we welcome any discussions about measures to make social media safer."

headspace media contact: Nadia Clancy - 0455 079 803


About headspace

The primary focus of headspace is the mental health and wellbeing of young Australians. headspace helps 12 - 25 year olds going through a tough time through a national network of over 60 headspace centres (soon to be 100) and online and telephone counselling service eheadspace.

headspace can help young people with general health, mental health, education and employment and alcohol and other drug services.

headspace was established and funded by the Commonwealth Government of Australia in 2006.

Visit headspace.org.au to find a headspace centre or access help.