Study reveals alarming number of teenagers in England affected by bullying, says RCGP

Publication date: 11 July 2017

Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard has commented on the 'alarming' results of a Lancet study on face-to-face bullying and cyber-bullying among English teenagers.

She said: "Any form of bullying - whether offline or online - is inexcusable and can have a severe negative impact on our patients' mental and physical health and wellbeing. 

"What is most alarming about these results is not the different forms that bullying takes, but the huge amounts of bullying that does go on, and the large numbers of people affected. Given the health implications, GPs and our teams will be the first port of call for some of these people who have been more severely impacted, and it is clear we need a society-wide approach to tackle this.

"It's also the case that the health impact of social media goes beyond bullying – it is the persistent and almost inescapable pressures to look a certain way, or do certain things, that can also have a terrible impact on our patients' mental health, and this is something that GPs and our teams increasingly report seeing in our surgeries.

"As well as more being done across society to stamp out bullying in its overt forms, we need more, and more varied, mental health services provided in the community, and for GPs and our teams to have easier, quicker access to them, which will be of great benefit to our patients. 

"NHS England's GP Forward View pledged for every GP practice to have access to one of 3,000 new mental health therapists. We need this, and its other promises - including £2.4bn extra a year for general practice and 5,000 more GPs - to be delivered as a matter of urgency."

Further Information

RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7574/7575/7633
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659

Notes to editor

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 52,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.

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