According to a new study, childhood bullying has a strong association with mental health support utilized by the general public via British’s health care program.
The study’s results, initiated by researchers in Psychological Medicine, revealed that adolescents bullied within their peer group would be more likely to utilize mental health services long into adulthood, compared to those who are not.
More boys use mental health providers in adolescence and youth, whereas females make up the majority of adults who utilize mental health providers.
Dr. Sara Evans-Lacko, the study’s lead author, considers the childhood bullying results to be nothing short of remarkable.
Nevertheless, even though it may currently be observed all through the first years, the LSE social services research unit found that long-term effects of bullying can last well into the age of 50, as Daily Mail reported.
Furthermore, Dr. Evans-Lacko stated that for individuals who were often bullied all through their youth years, it had been discovered that they are more than two times as likely to utilize numerous mental health services.
It should also be noted that child abuse could distort the personality and behavioral maturity of an adolescent, the findings show.
Moreover, researchers believe that someone’s stress, introversion, rage, and confrontation can affect one’s abilities to recognize feelings.
“Individuals who were frequently bullied during childhood were more than twice as likely to use mental health services during childhood or adolescence and even at age 50, they were still 30% more likely to use mental health services compared to those who were not bullied.
“Half the adult population with a psychiatric disorder already show signs of poor mental health by the age of 15. If unnoticed or untreated, early onset of mental health problems could be the starting point of persistent disorders known to be associated with bullying, including depression and anxiety, self-harm and psychotic disorders.”
Professor Louise Arseneault from King’s College London stated:
“In recent years, research has accumulated strong evidence to show that being bullied can be harmful for children and that problems can persist for a long time, up to midlife. This is the first time we are able to show the impact of childhood bullying victimization on the health care system in the UK.
“Beyond the individuals, bullying affects the wider systems and societies. Findings from our study add to other research supporting early intervention aimed at stopping bullying or preventing mental health problems in the young victims.”
In conclusion, researchers say that early intervention to prevent childhood bullying can help limit both distress and also save thousands of pounds in healthcare over the course of a bullying victim’s life.
“Anti-bullying initiatives are relatively inexpensive, estimated at £15.50 per pupil per year, and offer good value for money. Given the current tremendous strain on the health system, policies and practices to prevent bullying should be a high priority,” Dr. Evans-Lacko concluded.
In October 2016, Hillary Clinton proposed a $500 million anti-bullying law which could increase teacher training, hiring more guidance counselors, or launching suicide prevention programs, according to reports.
Clinton has also proposed to tackle cyberbullying, which would also be part of the $500 million anti-bullying law.