I’d like to thank you for bringing this to my attention, you clearly care about your friend a lot.
This is a very serious situation and I understand your concerns, but fear not, there are people who can support her and help her to get through this. I’ll talk more in a minute about ways to address the bullying and improve the way she’s feeling and make sure the person abusing her is reported. However, the thing that concerns me most is that your friend is talking about ending her life and the boy who is bullying her is actively encouraging this.
Please, please speak to your friend and tell her that it is important for her to speak to an adult that she trusts. You could also offer to go along with your friend if you are comfortable to do so and you think it would make her feel more comfortable. There are professional people available locally who can support her including YEPS Staff, Teachers and GP’s such as below:
* The YEP Service provides support for young people in RCT from the ages of 11-25 in and out of school. If your friend would like to discuss this with one of our YEPS staff get in touch with us on our facebook page /YEPSRCT and they will ensure that she can get support from the relevant person
* Eye to Eye counsellors offer counselling support to young people throughout RCT, again this information can be found online. If she wants to know more of course once again get in touch with YEPS.
* Your school – If you are both in school again can I encourage you to consider speaking to a member of staff in the school who can ensure she gets the relevant support.
* GP – Sometimes we need specialist support, and if your friend is feeling so low it may be advisable that her parents/guardians support her to discuss this with a doctor to ensure that the most appropriate support is put in place.
However if your friend does not feel comfortable with this and does not want to speak face to face – or would prefer to speak to someone who is not local, there are details of some alternative and confidential organisations below:
* She could talk to Papyrus – they are an organisation who specialise and give hope to children and young people struggling with life and thinking about suicide: HOPEline 0800 068 41 41 , text: : 07786 209697
* Your friend can call Meic for free, confidential advice on 0808 80 23456 or text on 84001. Meic also have a webchat service which you can access here www.meic.cymru Also, if you are finding this difficult to deal with, you can give Meic a call or text and they can offer you advice and guidance about how best to help your friend.
* You and your friend can also call Samaritans on 116 123 at any time to discuss any problems. * Take a look at the Heads Above The Waves website and section on ‘Straight-Up Advice’ for advice and guidance for people who are struggling or those whose friends/people they know are struggling.
If, once you have talked to her, you think she won’t do anything as is going to go ahead with her plans I would urge you to tell someone. It’s perfectly natural to feel like you would be betraying her trust, but be brave, you and your friend do not have to deal with this on your own. There are people out there who can and want to help change what is happening to her.
Alongside this, although it is very difficult to escape bullies and trolls, especially as we’re always connected with our gadgets and gizmos, there are steps we can take to limit this as much as possible. Advise your friend to block the abuser on all platforms; block his phone number, block him on all social media platforms and avoid him in person if the abuse is happening face to face.
If the bullying is online there is CEOP who deal with online abuse. For more information please check out the thinkyouknow.co.uk website.
If you are both in school I encourage you to speak to a member of staff at the school so that they can deal with the in school bullying also.
I apologise that this is a really long response, but I want to be clear that there are many options for your friend to receive support, but I want to make clear that she really should receive support and trusted adults should be aware of what she is experiencing.
I also want to make sure that you are ok? This can be really challenging for you to deal with. Please be sure that you know that the options above are also open to you. If you would like to chat to one of the YEPS staff about this further, I would really encourage you to do so.
Once again, thank you for being brave and bringing this to my attention. If you are unsure about anything please feel free to come back to me.