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Bullying defined

Bullying can be physical, verbal or social and associated with some, or all of the following factors:

  • It's deliberate
  • It's not usually a one-off
  • It involves behaviour that can harm someone
  • It involves the misuse of power in a relationship

Not all verbal or physical aggression is bullying. The Bullyfree NZ website shows examples to help you identify this.

If you're unsure whether you're being bullied or not, check out this factsheet from Bullyfree NZ.

Worried about a friend?

If someone you know is showing one or more of the following signs, they might need support.

These include:

  • become isolated or withdrawn from family, whānau and friends
  • don't seem to be coping with any problems they may be having
  • tell you they want to die or kill themselves
  • access things they could use to hurt themselves
  • read or write about suicide online, or post photos or videos about suicide
  • become obsessed with death
  • have changes in mood – becoming depressed, angry or enraged
  • hurt themselves
  • feel worthless, guilty, or ashamed
  • have no hope for the future
  • lose or gain a lot of weight, or have unusual eating patterns
  • sleep a lot more than usual, or stop getting enough sleep
  • seem to have lost interest in life, or things they used to enjoy
  • give away possessions, pay back debts or 'tie up loose ends'
  • stop taking their medication
  • suddenly seem calm or happy after they have been depressed or suicidal
  • use drugs or alcohol to cope with difficult feelings or thoughts

Someone could show none of these signs but still be suicidal. If you think someone is suicidal, pay attention to their behaviour, trust your opinion and finally ask them outright if they are suicidal.

See information on supporting someone who is suicidal here