Bullying poses a serious risk to children’s emotional and mental health in Singapore, according to a story published by the Straits Times. The story highlights the Ministry of Education (MOE) and its recent response to reports of bullying throughout Singapore schools.

A True-Life Incident of Bullying

One young girl, a Secondary 1 student, reported being ostracised and rejected by her entire group of friends after an argument. All six of the other girls shut her out, causing her extreme emotional pain. She says, “I remember not looking forward to recess because I didn’t have any friends to sit with, and I would make up all kinds of excuses to avoid facing the loneliness and shame at school.” Many students in Singapore could tell similar stories of cruelty, rejection, mocking, and shame.

The Bullying Problem

A representative of the Sunday Times in Singapore questioned Madam Ng Chen Kee about the new stories of bullying coming out of schools. Madam Ng Chen Kee is the director of the MOE’s student development curriculum division. She responded, ”

MOE does not tolerate bullying— even small, hurtful behaviours, such as students making fun of or excluding others.” She explained that the Ministry advises teachers and school staff to look for incident of students being cruelly excluded, harassed, or ridiculed.

Secure Ways to Report Bullying

As dedicated as the Ministry and the school personnel may be, it is often difficult to discern when a bullying incident is actually happening. Some incidents take place away from the eyes of teachers and staff; others may be concealed under the guise of teasing or playfulness.

To address these cases of hidden bullying, the MOE is providing more channels so that students can secretly and securely report these incidents. Through online platforms and other means, students can let someone know what is happening to them, and then officials at the school can follow up and investigate the situation.

Protection for Victims Who Report an Incident

Sometimes, students fail to report even through secure channels. The victims know that an investigation will follow, and the victims are afraid that the bullies will be angry and lash out even more dramatically. That’s why it is also important to encourage student bystanders and school staff to report incidents and to help defend victims against bullying or against backlash after they make a report.

Supporting a Bullying Victim’s Mental Health in Singapore

Has your child or teen been subjected to bullying at school? It’s important to recognise the toll that this can take on a child’s mental health in Singapore. Talk to your child about the incidents and try to gain more information about how your child is feeling. It may be time to bring your child to Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic for a conversation with a qualified psychiatrist in Singapore.

Through talk therapy, self-expression, and art therapy in Singapore, children who have been through traumatic events can find healing and learn ways to overcome social anxiety that may result from their difficult experiences. Visit Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic to ensure that your child’s mental health does not suffer permanent harm from bullying.

News Feed from Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic

Source: Straits Times, 20 Aug 2017