17 November 2008>
Caerphilly County Borough Council has marked this year's Anti Bullying Week (17th – 21st November) by holding a free conference, entitled "Bullying – What are we all gonna do about it?" for head teachers, business leaders, senior managers and key influential partners to help stamp out bullying.
Over 60 delegates from various agencies attended the event at the Oasis Christian Centre in Blackwood, which was coordinated by Caerphilly Council's Health Improvement Team.
Nyree George, CCBC's Mental Health Support Officer said, "It is my role to look at ways of tackling issues that can affect a person's mental health. One of the issues that keeps coming up time and time again is bullying.
We therefore thought it would be beneficial to hold a conference on tackling bullying, as it can have a detrimental effect on a person's mental health, and it can happen to anyone at any time – regardless of age or gender."
Theatr Fforwm Cymru, an educational charity, used interactive forum theatre to depict various bullying scenarios. The examples were collected from personal experiences of people from across the borough, and included bullying in a school setting, bullying at work and bullying in a care home.
This then led the way for discussions and workshops on how participants could use their knowledge and influence to help tackle bullying at their schools and organisations.
At the end of the session, participants were asked to fill in a "pledge card" as a promise to themselves that they would do something to help tackle bullying where they work. CCBC's Health Improvement Team will remind participants of their pledge in a few months time, and ask them how they have made a difference.
Cabinet member for the environment, Cllr Lyn Ackerman said, "Anti-Bullying Week is a fantastic opportunity to highlight that bullying is still a very real issue in society today.
Bullying can take many different forms, and can affect people of all ages, so this conference was excellent in that it helped depict the warning signs to look out for in a number of scenarios, for the people who can make a real difference and help stamp out bullying.
The feedback gained from the conference's participants has been extremely positive – long may initiatives such as this continue!"
Cabinet member for social services, Cllr Judith Pritchard said, "The issue of bullying must be addressed to protect the future mental health of our children and young people. It is a sad fact that many people suffer mental ill health as a result of being bullied, whether as a child, or as an adult at work or at home.
It is often said that 'prevention is better that cure' so by actively addressing bullying now, we can hope that many families will escape mental ill-heath in the future."
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