Manager of relationship services at Interrelate in Lismore, Thea Keane, said bullying could be defined as ‘any instance where someone intimidates or hurts another person or a group of people’.
Manager of relationship services at Interrelate in Lismore, Thea Keane, said bullying could be defined as ‘any instance where someone intimidates or hurts another person or a group of people’. The Northern Star
IMAGINE waking up for another Wednesday, but instead of bouncing out of bed you lay for a few minutes as feelings of dread, anxiety and worthlessness paralyse you.

This is what being bullied can feel like and it can happen to anyone at anytime of their life.

Manager of relationship services at Interrelate in Lismore, Thea Keane, said bullying could be defined as ‘any instance where someone intimidates or hurts another person or a group of people’.

"Bullying is definitely not restricted to the school yard," she said.

"When you have bullying in any environment, just one statement can have a long-term effect on a person and make them feel worthless.

"But bullies often don’t feel too good about themselves either."

The Reachout website, designed to assist victims of bullying, stated people were ‘often bullied because of a perceived difference’.

That difference can relate to culture, sex, sexuality, physical or mental ability, religion, body size or simply being in a new school, workplace or country.

Lismore MP Thomas George said he was bullied while growing up in Casino, simply because he was one of the only kids from an ethnic background.

"Kids can be very cruel," he said.

Latest figures on bullying estimated that one in six Australians under 18 was are bullied each week.

Ms Keane said if bullies and victims of bullying didn’t deal with these issues when they are young, this behaviour could be carried into the workplace.

Psychologist Kylie O’Brien, who works at Ballina and Bryon Bay, said workplace bullying could be just as common, but not always as obvious as it was in the schoolyard.

"In the workplace there is often overt verbal abuse, but there can also be covert bullying which is a lot subtler and involves excluding people from activities, overloading people with work or refusing to acknowledge them," she said.

"The consequences of bullying in the workplace can also be high in terms of work absenteeism, low productivity, high staff turnover and poor morale."

Ms O’Brien said victims of covert bullying found find it a lot harder to identify that they were victims, yet said even if someone knew that they were being bullied, it could be hard for them to ask for help.

However, the consequences of not coming forward could lead to serious psychological problems, she said.

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