Whether you are being bullied or caring for someone who is being bullied, it’s important to know that you’re not alone, and there is support available.
Plenty of people and organisations - including us here at Mencap - care about you. Often it takes more than one person to end the bullying, so don’t think you have to go through all this on your own.
Support you can get
When someone is bullied, it can help a lot just to talk to someone about their feelings and how they’re coping. They might even want to speak to a doctor or therapist to work through their experiences and move on.
There are lots of ways you can get the right support:
- Friends and family: someone you trust to offer support and advice can be invaluable.
- Helpline support and advice: our helpline advisors offer a friendly ear and professional advice: 0808 808 1111. There are lots of other advice lines that can help, listed below.
- Peer-to-peer support: join our online community and meet other people going through similar experiences as you. Ask your questions, offer advice, be part of the community.
- Therapy or counselling: there is no shame in looking for professional support and many people who have been through a difficult or traumatic experience see a counsellor to help them understand what’s happened and move forward.
- Legal support: you might need support from the police and lawyers if you are dealing with harassment.
- Medical support: speak to your doctor, school nurse, or learning disability liaison nurse. It can be helpful for someone who's been bullied to speak to a medical professional about how they feel. A doctor might refer them to a counsellor or prescribe medication to help them come to terms with their experience and move forward with their life.
- Teachers and the school: schools should have anti-bullying policies in place. Find out what support they can offer. It might be a friendly chat with someone, or a buddy scheme, for example.
- Employers, colleagues and your manager: someone being bullied at work should find support from their workplace. Find out what support they offer - it might be a helpline, confidential chat with a trusted colleague, or time off work to help you deal with what has happened.
Other organisations that can help
- National Autistic Society: a charity for people with autism and Asperger syndrome.
- Anti-Bullying Alliance: a coalition of organisations and individuals that are united against bullying.
- BILD: an organisation aiming to improve the quality of the lives of people with disabilities by delivering practical solutions that work for organisations, and for the people they support.
- Contact: a charity for families with disabled children, providing information, advice and support.
- Respond: an organisation that aims to lessen the effect of trauma and abuse on people with learning disabilities their families and supporters, providing psychotherapy, advice, support and training.
- Ditch The Label: a charity supporting those who have been bullied, and those who are doing the bullying too.
- Childline: a free, private and confidential service for children and young people. Whatever your worry, you can speak to someone online or on the phone anytime.
- NSPCC: call NSPCC confidentially to report any safeguarding concerns you have. Both Childline and NSPCC can help you report bullying to the police.
- Bullying UK: part of Family Lives, a charity helping parents to deal with the changes that are a constant part of family life.
- Beyond Bullying: information and advice produced by Leicestershire County Council’s Anti-Bullying Team, including a whole section of resources designed especially for people with a learning disability.
- Kidscape: an organisation that gives young people, parents and professionals the skills to tackle bullying and safeguarding issues in the UK.
- Citizens Advice Bureau: an organisation offering free, independent, confidential and impartial advice on your rights and responsibilities. . They could help you get legal support around bullying and harassment.
- The Samaritans: round the clock support - anytime, any day. Call their freephone number, text, email or visit a branch.
The Learning Disability Helpline is our free help and advice line.
Our team can offer advice, information and discuss what support Mencap can offer tailored to your needs, in your area.