Parents Archives - Ditch the Label

7 Tips to Help You Through Your Parents’ Divorce

7 tips to help you through your parents’ divorce

Everybody responds to stress and trauma in different ways; our Annual Bullying Survey found that those who bully are more likely to have experienced stressful and/or traumatic situations than those who do not. Homelife and family can have major impact upon young people and their behaviours – we found that 17% of people who had previously bullied somebody, had experienced the separation/divorce of their parents.

This can be a tricky and upsetting time, even if you are not entirely surprised by your parents decision to end their relationship. You might feel angry, confused, shocked, scared, powerless, embarrassed, relieved – or, you might not even know how to process your emotions right now! You might feel numb to it all. Whatever you are feeling, we can reassure you, it’s totally natural – and you are not alone. Statistics show that 42% of marriages in England and Wales end in divorce – it is actually, quite a common part of modern-day life, and something many people have gone through.

DTL have compiled a list of things to remember, and put into practice if you feel like you are not coping with your parents’ separation. And remember, if you ever need to talk, we are here for you:

1. Remember that your parents have not ended their relationship because of you

Your parents are not separating because of something you did. They have just grown apart as people. Things often don’t work out in relationships, even when adults try really hard to work out their differences, they still might come to the conclusion that it is a healthier environment for all, not to stay together. Don’t feel as if you are to blame, because you are most definitely not. Realise that there is nothing you can/could have done to change the situation. 

2. Allow yourself time to grieve/ let your emotions out

Inevitably, you will need to grieve the end of your parents relationship, and that is totally normal! Don’t feel embarrassed or ashamed to cry about it! It is much healthier to acknowledge how you are feeling, than to bottle up emotions. No one will think any less of you for getting upset about your parents’ separating – it’s a big deal, don’t downplay it! In the long run, being honest with yourself will aid the healing process.

If you need to cry, find a safe place (maybe that is in your bedroom alone, with some music on) and let it out!

If you are mad and need to release some of that pent up anger, we advise:

  • Screaming as loudly as you can (into a pillow or cushion if you don’t want to be heard)
  • Writing down exactly how you are feeling in a diary!
  • Punching a pillow, cushion or a punch bag.
  • Meditating – allow yourself 10 minutes everyday to sit, alone, in a quiet area. Relax and breathe deeply. Try not to focus your mind on anything other than the steady inhaling and exhaling of your breath.

Also, try and accept the fact that it is going to take time for you to be okay with this. It is very unlikely you will be able to immediately adjust to the changes going on around you; there will be days where you feel down, and days where you feel okay about it. Some days you might even agree with the decision that has been made! Just know, that whatever you are feeling, is completely normal.

3. Talk about it

A problem shared is a problem halved. You will feel so much better if you talk about how you are feeling, with someone you trust. If you feel like you can’t talk to your parents about what you are going through, maybe confide in another family member, teacher or friend – especially one that might have been through a similar experience. Talking will help you begin to come to terms with some of the changes you are facing. Remember that Ditch the Label are always here to talk if you need to.

4. Try not to take sides 

Your parents might ask/expect you to take sides. Or maybe you feel your loyalty lies with one parent, over the other, depending on the circumstances of the separation. It is best for your own mental wellbeing not to reject your relationship with a parent based on the circumstances surrounding their divorce. It might not seem that way now, but it is more than likely you will want both your parents present in your life in the future. The best thing you can do, is to try and separate your personal relationship with your parents, from their own. Theirs’ might be coming to an end, but this does not mean yours does too. You will always be their child, and they will always be your parent.

5. Try not to feel guilty

Whether it’s about where you wake up on Christmas morning, or who you spent the most time with last week, your parents’ primary concern is most likely your happiness over anything else! If you’re feeling caught in the middle, then the best solution is to tell them this! They might not even be aware that you are feeling troubled by how your time is being divided, or certain arrangements they have put in place. 

6. Don’t feel obliged 

If your parents are using you as a go-between and this is making you uncomfortable, tell them you would rather they contacted each other directly rather than using you as the messenger pigeon. Chances are, they don’t even realise this could be having any kind of impact on your emotional wellbeing or handling of their separation. Try not to get caught in any conflict between your parents – it is not your responsibility to have to mediate between them. You are also not their therapist – if they are confiding in you and you feel burdened by it, this is likely to lead to divided loyalties and you feeling under pressure to support them emotionally. 

Remember that their relationship and their separation are something they alone need to deal with, as two responsible adults. 

7. Try not to feel left behind

Remember that the decision regarding which parent moves out of your home, will most likely have been made with your best interests in mind – it does not mean that the parent moving out loves you any less, or is ‘leaving you behind’. If you feel that you are not seeing enough of one parent, or you are missing them, speak to them about it. It might be time to change your arrangements! Try to work with your parents to figure out a new schedule that fits both your life, and theirs. Communication is key.



How to Speak to Somebody Who is Bullying You

how to talk to somebody who is bullying you

How to overcome bullying by talking to the person bullying you

Trust us, we know it may seem counter-intuitive to speak to somebody who is making your life a misery, but we have found that it can be a hugely successful strategy for resolving any issues with bullying and breakdowns in communication. More often than not, somebody may not fully understand that what they are doing is genuinely having an impact on those around them and as such, talking can be the ultimate antidote, read on to find out why.

> Why do people bully? Top 4 reasons

Some of the most common reasons why people bully others include:

• It’s used as a coping mechanism and response to something stressful going on in their lives
• Because they are insecure and are trying to detract away from themselves by focusing on somebody else
• They are jealous or feel like you are in some way superior to them – instead of competitive behaviour, they have become abusive
• Because they are worried they won’t be accepted by their peers if they don’t do it

The reason you are being bullied is never because of something to do with you. Although they will often choose something about you and target that. It could be how you look, your skin colour, sexuality or a disability – the list is endless. Please try to remember that you have done nothing wrong and there is nothing you need to change. We hope that this advice will help you to resolve your own issues, without relying on other people. You’re almost guaranteed to resolve most conflicts and relationship breakdowns with the following steps, so even if you’re not being bullied – they are good life tips anyway.


> How to effectively speak to somebody who is bullying you – 10 rules

1. Understand: the thing to remember about bullying is the fact that the people who are doing it are often incredibly vulnerable and it’s usually a cry for help to highlight that there is a bigger issue. It is therefore important to try and compassionately understand their reasoning and headspace. Most of the time, it will be impossible to know without asking, what exactly is going on. There could be issues at home, or perhaps they are struggling with their own identity and confidence. They may not even tell you what the issue is, and that’s okay. Just know that people who are perfectly happy and confident will never go out of their way to bully somebody.

2. Evaluate: sometimes it may be unsafe to speak to somebody who is bullying you, particularly if you feel it will put you or somebody else in immediate risk of harm. In this case, rule 3 is where it’s at. If you feel safe speaking to them, skip through to rule 4.

3. Mediate: sometimes, especially when the situation is more serious, it may be better to use a mediator. This is essentially when a third person (usually an adult, but not always) will facilitate a conversation between the person being bullied and the person doing the bullying to ensure that everything is managed properly and safely. Mediators are trained to ensure that both sides get to speak and will work to ensure that the issue is resolved. Mediators are available through some schools and colleges and in more serious cases, where a crime is involved, the Police.

4. One-to-one: it’s always better to speak to somebody alone. Particularly if there is a ringleader in a group of people who seems to be leading the bullying. Often they will be doing it for positive reinforcement from their mates because they feel like their relationships are based on the condition that they behave in a certain way, so if you eliminate the rest of the group, you will have a very different dynamic.

5. Do it somewhere neutral: we know it may seem scary, but trust us, they will feel scared too. This is why it’s important that the conversation happens in a neutral space. I.e. somewhere where neither of you are attached, such as a public park or Starbucks. Plus, if there are other people around, it will likely make you feel safer and it will help you with rules 6 and 7…

6. Don’t shout. Ever: you’re angry and emotional, we get it, but it’s likely that they are also hurting, too. No issue is ever resolved through arguing. We each have our own individual ego and we like to think that we are always right, therefore it is only natural to defend yourself when somebody threatens your ego. If somebody is up in your face and aggressive, your natural instinct will usually be to defend yourself by shouting louder to get your point across. It doesn’t ever work. If you feel your anger levels increasing, take some time out and deep breaths. It might sound cliché but it does work. Understand that it is normal to get angry and to want to shout, but right now it isn’t going to benefit you.

7. Don’t retaliate to shouting: this goes hand-in-hand with rule 6. It is possible that the other person will start shouting. If they do, stop talking and let them shout whatever they want to. Once they have finished, talk normally and calmly (we know how challenging this will be, but trust us). It will come as a shock because they will be expecting you to shout back at them. They will gradually start to lower their voice and you will maintain complete control over the situation.

8. Make it equal: for this to really work, both parties need to be equally involved in it. It will never work out in your favour if you lecture them on how you feel and how their behaviour is upsetting you. There’s a much better chance of resolving things if you encourage two-way conversation. Ask them how they are and ask if you have ever done anything to upset them. Listen to them as much as you talk to them, because, ultimately we all like to feel heard. This also branches out to the power balance, it should always be equal. It isn’t about you telling them off and it isn’t about them intimidating you into submission. Stand your ground when necessary, but also be prepared to step down when you have good reason to. The fact of the matter is, nobody, not even your parents/guardians (as much as they like to believe) are right 100% of the time. We all make mistakes and that’s okay.

9. Build an agenda: this will help you with rules 6-8 and it’s really easy to do. Whenever we have a meeting at Ditch the Label, we will usually write up an agenda of the things we want to talk about before we go into that meeting. This helps guide the meeting in the right direction and also means that we very rarely forget things that we were meant to talk about.

10. What is the end goal?: Are you doing it because you want an argument and want to alleviate stress on them or are you doing it because you want to resolve the situation? Because they are very different things. You will, unfortunately have to agree to disagree on things. It may even turn out that they have been annoyed at something you have done in the past but you think they are over-reacting. That’s okay. If you want to add fuel to the fire and make things worse, argue it out and battle egos – but honestly, it won’t do you any justice. Sometimes it is easier to sit back, listen and apologise for anything that you have done which may have upset them. It’s a good idea to start the conversation with something like “Thanks for meeting me today. I wanted to talk to you alone because I feel like there is a lot of tension between us both and I would really love it if we could hopefully overcome any tensions together. Is that okay?”. Never lose track of the end goal, even when things get heated. It may also be an idea to not accuse them of bullying you, instead tell them how their behaviour is having an impact on you. We all have a different definition of bullying and what it means to bully somebody and it’s likely they will become defensive if you start to call them a bully. Plus, nobody is ever a bully, it’s just a behaviour which can and does change.


> In Summary

We know that it can be really scary when talking to somebody who is making your life a living hell, but the only thing worse is ignoring it and allowing yourself to feel so bad over a long period of time. We use these rules in our own lives and can honestly say that at the end of the conversations, we usually come out feeling really positive and great. It’s a huge weight off your shoulders and you will always be surprised at what you will learn about the other person – you may have more in common than you may think.

If you need any further tips or aren’t happy with the outcome, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and we will happily help you.


Cyber Bullying Statistics: What They Tell Us

It is no secret that the landscape of bullying continues to change, which is why we invest significant amounts of resource into the continuous research of trends, attitudes and behaviours so that we can continue to innovate and develop world-class interventions and ways of tackling cyber bullying. We have taken key cyber bullying statistics from some of our leading reports to give an idea of the current climate.


Taken from The Cyber Bullying Survey, Ditch the Label (2013)
• 7 out of 10 young people have been victims of cyberbullying.
• 37% young people have experienced cyberbullying on a highly frequent basis
• 20% of young people have experienced extreme cyberbullying on a daily basis
Facebook, Twitter and Ask.FM:
• Young people are found to be twice as likely to be bullied on Facebook than on any other social network.
• Facebook, Twitter and Ask.FM are found to be the most common social networks for cyberbullying.
• 54% of young people using Facebook reported that they have experienced bullying on the network.
• 28% of young people using Twitter reported that they have experienced bullying on the network.
• 26% of young people using Ask.FM have experienced bullying on the network.
Impact of Cyber Bullying:
• Cyberbullying is found to have catastrophic effects upon the self-esteem and social lives of up to 69% of young people.
• An estimated 5.43 million young people in the UK have experienced cyber bullying with 1.26 million subjected to extreme cyber bullying on a daily basis.
• New research shows that young males and females are equally at risk.

Click here to view and download the entire report for more statistics >>


Taken from The Wireless Report, Ditch the Label (2014)
• 37% 13 – 25 year olds have sent a naked photo of themselves (63% to a boyfriend/girlfriend and 32% to someone they are attracted to)
• 30% of 15 yr olds have sent a naked photo of themselves at least once
• 15% of 13 & 14 yr olds have sent a naked photo of themselves at least once
• 5% of 13 year olds send naked photos several times a week.
• 24% have sent a naked photo to someone they know only online.
• 24% have had a naked photo shared without their consent.
• 49% believe is just harmless fun.
• 16% said it’s the normal thing to do.
• 13% felt pressurised into doing it.
• Females are twice as likely to send a naked photo of themselves more than once a week than men.
Abuse on Smartphone Apps:
• 62% have been sent nasty private messages via smartphone apps
• 52% have never reported the abuse they have received.
• 47% have received nasty profile comments
• 40% have received nasty photo comments.
• 42% have received hate-based comments (racism, homophobia etc.)
• 28% have had personal information shared without consent.
Reporting Abuse:
• 52% have never reported abuse on smartphone apps
• 26% felt like it wasn’t taken seriously when reported
Impact of Abuse:
• 49% experienced a loss in confidence as a result of the bullying
• 28% retaliated and sent something abusive back
• 24% turned to self harming as a coping mechanism
•22% tried to change their appearance to avoid further abuse
• 13% stopped using the app

Click here to view and download the entire report for more statistics >>


Do’s and Don’ts When Your Teen is Being Bullied

We always recommend talking openly with your children around subjects that can affect them as they are growing up. As bullying will affect up to 7 in 10 young people before they reach their 18th birthday, it is important to be prepared.


  • Always talk openly with young people about bullying so that they willingly share any concerns with you and it doesn’t become a ‘taboo’ subject
  • Listen carefully and show them that you have listened by talking it through
  • Don’t dismiss the bullying as “part of growing up” and to “ignore it”. This will only teach them to tolerate bullying behaviour
  • Put any anger aside – it is vital to prioritise how THEY are feeling. If you feel you need support, then seek this out separately
  • Ask them what THEY want to do about it; it’s tempting to completely take over but this is very disempowering for young people and takes away control from them in a situation where they may already feel powerless
  • Regularly check in with them so you know what’s going on and to be sure they are happy with whatever action was decided upon
  • Make sure they do not feel excluded from any action that is taken. They may already feel worried about what is going to happen
  • Reassure them that it is NOT their fault. They did not do anything to ‘deserve’ being bullied
  • Remind them that it is the attitude and behaviour of the perpetrator that is at fault
  • Try and be sympathetic towards the perpetrator; it is highly likely that they are experiencing serious issues of their own
  • Keep clear records of everything: Incidents, calls and visits to school
  • Once you have reported the bullying, keep in regular contact with the school or college to ensure they are dealing with the situation

When Teachers Don’t Act

All state schools (but not private) MUST have a behaviour policy in place, by law, which includes measures to prevent bullying. This policy is decided upon by each school and has to be made available to all staff, pupils and parents. It covers behaviour and conduct of pupils before, after and during the school day.

UK schools must also follow and abide by the anti-discrimination law to prevent harassment and bullying within their school.

It is important to know that some forms of bullying are illegal and should be reported to the police. These include: Violence or assault, theft, harassment or intimidation (e.g. abusive or threatening calls, emails, letters or texts) and hate crimes. School staff can also report bullying to the police.

  • In most circumstances, you should report any bullying to the school in the first instance
  • Keep clear records of all contact with the school; phone calls, text messages, visits and meetings
  • The school will deal with the situation in different ways depending upon the severity of the bullying. This could include; disciplinary measures, mediation, exclusion or restorative justice
  • Any action must take account of any special educational needs or disabilities that the pupils have

If you are not happy with the school’s action:

  • Raise the situation with the school governors
  • Make a formal complaint to the Local Education Authority
  • Complain to OFSTED who will respond within 30 days to advise you if they will investigate. Contact them on 0300 1234 234 or [email protected]
  • Typical process of complaints: teacher > senior teacher > assistant head teacher > head teacher > Board of Governors > Local Education Authority > OFSTED > Department for Education

If you believe that you child is being discriminated against, contact:

  • Equality Advisory Support Service (EASS): 0808 800 0082 for help and advice.

Discrimination can include (but is not limited to); race, colour, nationality, religion, belief, disability, sexual identity, gender or sexual orientation.


Common Signs of Bullying in Teens

For many people, bullying is what shapes a large part of their experience in life as a teenager or young adult. Although there are many different types of bullying that some experience on a daily basis, this doesn’t make any one of them lesser than the others. As part of our continued commitment to monitoring and evaluating the climate of bullying, we consistently find that approximately 1 in 2 teens experience some degree of bullying, with up to 7 in 10 experiencing cyber bullying.

Signs that a teen is being bullied:

  • Their moods. People who have been bullied will often have a sense of low-worth and this can be seen through their mood and attitude. They will often lose motivation for certain things and tasks that they might otherwise enjoy.
  • A loss in appetite. This ties in with a change in mood since we all know that when you are feeling low, the last thing that you probably want to do is eat. This can cause a large amount of problems if it is happening on a regular basis.
  • A desire for isolation. With people becoming more and more reliant on the internet and the things on it, the web can be a very dangerous place for young people. Through our research we have found that there has been a rise in young people spending more time online, more time alone and less time spent outdoors and with family.
  • More time spent playing computer games. Although there is a large population of young people and even adults who playing video games, for some people, this is used as an escape so it may be a good idea to keep an eye on the amount of time spent on these platforms.
  • Time spent sleeping. Through this research we have also found that a noticeable percentage of young people will spend more time sleeping, it may be related to the wide world of video gaming but this could also result in them not wanting to wake up for school.
  • Decrease in time spent focusing on their studies and less time thinking about the future. The future is supposed to be an exciting prospect with things like university and careers around the corner so this could be a red flag in terms of suspecting that you child is being bullied.

How you can help them

  • Having an open and honest relationship with your child/children is the first step in being able to tackle bullying as they are more likely to open up about the subject, say what has been happening to them, who is doing the bullying and how they are feeling.
    Sometimes all young people need is someone to talk to but if there is no one to turn toward, the years of a teen or young adult can be a very solitary place.
  • A large majority of young people that have experienced bullying have and probably never will tell anyone or report it through fear and a lack of faith that it will be taken seriously.
  • A step that can be taken is to speak to their teachers and ask for them to keep an eye out for any of the above signs as a lot of bullying happens in schools away from the safety of their own homes.
  • The ones being bullied need to be able to understand that there need not be an embarrassment or a stigma attached to what is or has happened to them and need to know that there are people close to them, organisations and teachers that they can turn to for help.

In addition to our advice above, we strongly recommend that parents and guardians familiarise themselves with our research reports for the latest trends and recommendations. You may view them here.


Homohate and Bihate: the Ultimate Guide

We are frequently asked why we use the words ‘homohate’ and ‘bihate’ instead of homophobia and biphobia. Well, really – it’s rather quite simple. A phobia is an irrational fear that extends beyond the control of the person who has it and frankly, it’s really silly to call it that. The behaviour, often stemming from a lack of education or insecurities is in fact a classified hate crime – meaning that it’s illegal to do in the UK.

What is Homohate and Bihate?

Homohate and bi hate are terms that we use to describe the discriminatory behaviours and attitudes that people have on somebody else formed around the basis of their sexual identification. Most frequently affecting gay men, lesbian women (homohate) and those who are bisexual (bihate). Sometimes, people can experience these types of hate crimes even if they identify as being straight; that is often because sometimes people associate personality and appearance with sexuality, which is totally not true.

How does it materialise?

Like all hate crimes, homohate and bihate can materialise in a variety of ways and vary in seriousness. Examples include:

  • The use of unacceptable language used in a derogatory way, such as “fag” and “queer” – although some people do not take offence, these terms are universally accepted as being derogatory .
  • Being treated unfairly on the basis of an attitude towards your sexuality. This can include exclusion from friendship groups and indirect bullying.
  • Being verbally attacked or cyber bullied on the basis of your sexuality.
  • Inappropriate sexual harassment or advances that are designed to embarrass or undermine you.
  • Physical assault or threatening behaviour.

How common is it?

Sadly, we consistently find that around 1 in 10 cite homohate/bihate as the reason for their bullying. We also find that young lesbian, gay and bi people are high risk individuals in terms of susceptibility to bullying; suggesting that it is still an issue for some of society.

Is being gay, lesbian or bi normal?

We cannot stipulate this enough – your sexuality is not something that you are able to consciously control. It is a part of you that you are born with and recent studies have found that it is genetic and down to your DNA. Many people feel the need to hide their sexuality through fear.

What can I do about it?

First and foremost, understand that your sexuality IS NOT the problem here. The problem is the fact that somebody has homohate/bihate attitudes. Behaviours and attitudes, we can change. Your sexuality, however, we cannot. Please do not try to change yourself – you’re headed for a brick wall if you do. Here are our top tips on how to deal with homohate and bihate bullying:

  • Assess how serious it is: The clue is in the title, homohate and bihate behaviours are hate crimes and you can actually report them to the Police. We would recommend that you evaluate the severity before doing it though. Certainly if the abuse if prolonged, physical or sexual – report it immediately.
  • Tell somebody: Like all types of bullying, it will be difficult to resolve without telling somebody first. Not only does it document evidence, but it is a step towards getting help and also will take a huge weight from your shoulders. Speak to a parent/guardian, family member, friend, counsellor or somebody here, at Ditch the Label.
  • Evidence it: Keep a diary of events and witnesses. Take screenshots of anything that is said online.
  • Report it: Start by reporting it to a teacher at school, or the social network. If this doesn’t work, your progress of authority should then goto a senior teacher > head teacher > Board of Governors > Local Education Authority > Department for Education.
  • Don’t isolate yourself: Our research finds that people often isolate themselves and see themselves as the problem. Please don’t. Surround yourself with people who are kind, warm and have your best interests at heart.
  • Understand why somebody is bullying you: The sad reality is that bullying is a learnt behaviour and is usually a coping mechanism for something stressful. Somebody may be bullying you because they are unhappy with themselves, jealous, uneducated about particular areas of diversity or there could be abuse at home.
  • Mediation: This is essentially a facilitated conversation between you and the person who is bullying you – it may sound scary but an adult will be there and you will no doubt find it to be a very empowering experience. It will give you an opportunity to get to know the other person and to understand them better, in addition to educating them and showing them how the bullying has made you feel.

Getting Further Help

If the above doesn’t help you, or you need further advice – please reach out. Click here for further support.


Mental Health: the Ultimate Guide

About Mental Health

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The term ‘Mental Health’ describes your state of wellbeing and is sometimes called emotional health; it affects how we think, feel and behave. If we are feeling down it is often referred to as ‘depression’ or ‘anxiety’.
Good mental health can help you make the most of your potential and opportunities. It can help you cope with life so you can enjoy time with family, at school, college, university, work and with your friends.
We all experience times when when we feel low or stressed; this is a natural part of life and for most people these feelings pass. For example, it is normal to feel anxious before a big exam or important event and this can actually help us feel more alert.
Sometimes however, our mental health can be negatively affected by events such as bereavement, illness or injury, pressure at school or a lack of sleep and the anxiety and stress can develop into something more serious.
At Ditch the Label we know from our research and interventions that many young people develop symptoms of mental health problems as a result of bullying.

Talking About Mental Health

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There is unfortunately a stigma attached to discussing mental health and some people can experience discrimination over it. This means that it can make talking about it feel uncomfortable and people may be reluctant to share their feelings. There are also many myths surrounding mental health but it is far more common than most people realise.
  • 1 in 4 people will experience mental health problems each year
  • It can happen to anyone
  • Sometimes the reason is not obvious
  • Our mental health does not always remain the same. It can change as our circumstances change in our life
  • It is possible to recover
  • You can still lead a full and productive life
  • A mental health problem can make us feel as bad, or even worse than a physical illness
  • It is NOT a sign of weakness
  • Good, positive mental health is just as important as good physical health and it is very healthy to be aware of, and to voice how you are feeling.

Symptoms Can Include

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  • Extended periods of sadness, low mood, feeling hopeless
  • Low self-esteem
  • Being tearful and/or irritable
  • Lack of interest and motivation in anything
  • Suppressed appetite
  • Not wanting to be around others
  • Intense anxiety and worry
  • Being unable to focus or concentrate
  • Self-harming
  • Experiencing suicidal thoughts

What You Can Do

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Everyone is different and while some people may appear to bounce back quickly, others will take a little longer.
  • Write down all the things that are troubling you and then go through each individual point and see if there are any ways in which you could improve that situation
  • Try and get more sleep
  • Exercise – this releases natural chemicals in the body which lift your mood
  • Talk about your problems – confide in someone you trust or seek counselling
  • Practice relaxation techniques like meditation
  • Work out a manageable plan to cover stressful periods like exams
  • Set yourself small, manageable tasks which are easier to cope with
  • If you feel ashamed, exhausted, guilty, neglectful, worthless – remind yourself that this is the depression ‘talking’
  • You are not a burden. Your loved ones care about you and will want to help
  • You cannot just ‘snap out of it’ – it takes help, support and time
  • Ask a trusted friend or relative to check in with you regularly
  • Allow yourself not to be ‘perfect’ – many people with depression or anxiety set themselves extremely high standards and feel bad if they fail to meet them
  • Remind yourself of all the things you do well – don’t over-focus on something that does not go to plan

Get Help

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If you are feeling low for more than a few days or if you are experiencing any of the symptoms described in this article it is important to reach out for help and support.
Confide in a trusted friend or family member and do not hesitate to visit your GP. You can discuss with them how you are feeling and any underlying issues you may have. They will be able to advise you on the treatments and therapies which may be available. This can include referrals to counsellors and specialised mental health professionals.
You can also call the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90 if you need to talk to someone urgently. They are there 24 hours a day, every day.
There is more advice available from Mind at

Racism: the Ultimate Guide

What is Racism?

Racism can be defined as prejudice, discrimination or hostility – or in other words; having a great hate or dislike directed towards a person, or group of people because of race, ethnicity or religion. This is based on the belief that the perpetrator’s (bully) race/ beliefs are more superior that the race/beliefs of the recipient (victim).

Is stereotyping a form of racism?

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Stereotyping is often based upon assumptions. Making “stab in the dark” guesses about what an individual may be like has very little evidence or proof about a certain group that an individual may belong to. In today’s society it can be difficult not to stereotype. The brain works in a way where we are automatically ‘trained’ to associate an idea of someone with a perception we have stored in our mind from the past, or from images that we are exposed to in the media.
In most cases racist comments stem from negative stereotypes.
A bearded guy is wearing a black trench jacket, huckleberry hat and skinny jeans. Some people may automatically assume he is Jewish; however he could just as easily be a Christian who grew a beard because his partner found it attractive and he’s following the latest style trends from Men’s GQ.

Why are people racist?

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We can’t define the exact reason why somebody decides to act in a racist manner. Racism like a lot of other prejudice-based hate, is normally a learnt behaviour. None of us are born with the ability to read an email or sing a song, nor are we born with the ability to discriminate against someone because of where they were born or the colour of their skin.
Racist people normally feel threatened or intimidated by a culture or race that is not common to them or that they have limited understanding of. Unfortunately in society today, people tend to act negatively towards the unknown rather than taking the time to understand or embrace that difference.

What is racial discrimination?

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Racial discrimination can be defined as two different categories: Direct and Indirect.
Indirect racial discrimination takes place when a person or organisation introduces a rule that discriminates against people from a certain racial minority. Normally the factors of this idea/rule are unclear and not justifiable.
A Hair Salon states in a job ad that they’re unable to employ people who wear religious head attire because they want their customers to be able see their stylist’s hair. This is in-direct discrimination; this rule has no bearing on the capability of the candidate’s ability to style hair properly.
Direct racial discrimination takes place when a person purposely goes out of their way to exclude someone specifically because of their race. These actions are normally very direct, thoughtless and are intended to get an instant reaction.
An Afro-Caribbean Society restricts admission based purely on applicants’ skin colour. This is a form of direct discrimination. They haven’t taken into consideration the amount of people who may indeed be from BME that are also of Caucasian descent.

What can you do to overcome racism?

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  • Embrace and accept who you are. It may be unfortunate that some small-minded people may try to judge and discriminate against you because of your ethnic origins. Always feel comfortable and confident with who you are.
  • Do not let racist attitudes exclude you from society: Racists want people to be segregated so by you withdrawing yourself from that situation you are letting them win.
  • Racism is a learned behaviour. If you are being subjected to racism in school, college in the workplace or online, report it. People, such as teachers can speak to perpetrators to help change their behaviour and attitudes. If you feel the appropriate action is still not being taken, report it to the police.
  • By reporting racism you are not only helping yourself – you are also helping someone else from experiencing this prejudice.
  • Be open to accepting people of all races; encourage your friends and family to do the same.

6 Things you didn’t know about racism

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  • People of the same ethnicity can practice racism. For example, if a white female made a negative comment to another white female because of the fact she was raised in a Romany Gypsy community, this is racism.
  • Saying “racism is better now than it was 30 years ago” is the equivalent of saying “cancer is better now than it was 30 years ago”. Yes, we’re better at understanding and tackling it, but cancer is still cancer.
  • A racist incident can be defined as “any incident which is perceived to be racist by the victim or any other person”
  • If you witness a racist incident that causes you offense, you have the legal right to report that incident to the police, even if you don’t know the victim or the perpetrator.
  • A racially or religiously aggravated offence can carry a maximum sentence of 14 years in the UK Criminal Justice System.
  • Skin colour really is only skin deep. Most traits are inherited independently from one another. The genes influencing skin colour have nothing to do with the genes influencing hair form, eye shape, blood type, musical talent, athletic ability or intelligence. Knowing someone’s skin colour doesn’t necessarily tell you anything else about him or her.

Hate Crime: the Ultimate Guide

What is Hate Crime?

Hate crime is a criminal offence. It is an act of hatred or aggression directed at a specific person, group or their property. It is motivated by hostility or prejudice against:

  • A personal characteristic
  • Gender identity
  • Disability
  • Sexual orientation
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Faith

This may involve bullying, physical assault, verbal abuse and/or insults, damage to property, threatening behaviour, robbery, harassment, offensive letters (hate mail) or graffiti and inciting others to commit hate crimes.

The legal consequences for perpetrators can be serious and range from a fine to a maximum of 10 years in prison.


Why Report Hate Crime?

Reporting hate crime is important because it provides a platform from which action can be taken against perpetrators and for the abuse to stop. It can often lead to vital support for the victim and it can also benefit wider society by creating safer public areas.

Hate crime can go unreported for many reasons including:

  • Many people do not know that they can report this kind of abuse
  • People do not know how to report it
  • Some people have reservations or fears around approaching the police or authority figures

An increase in reporting will:

  • Provide more accurate statistics which leads to better services within the justice system and improves how hate crimes are responded to
  • Challenge attitudes and behaviours that endorse hatred towards anyone perceived as ‘different’
  • Encourage early intervention to prevent situations escalating
  • Increase confidence for victims in coming forward to seek support and justice
  • Ensure that the right support is available for those that need it

How to report Hate Crime

In an emergency, ALWAYS dial 999 or 112 – All calls are free and will be answered by trained operators.

If you are in immediate danger, or to report a crime in progress, dial 999 or 112 as above.

Other ways to contact the police:

  • Dial 101 to report non-urgent crimes or to make an enquiry
  • Call in at a police station. You can search by postcode via:
  • In incidents where the victim of a hate crime does not wish to approach the police directly there may be a police liaison officer for their region, or a Community Safety Partnership Department. Call 101 for further advice on this.
  • Reporting hate crime online:
  • Understandably it can sometimes be very difficult to report an incident alone. If you do not have a friend or family member to accompany you, help with reporting via voluntary and other agencies can be found here:
  •  You can also report hate crime anonymously via Crimestoppers here: 0800 555 111 /