The ugly face of bullying reminds us to remain aware

A national day dedicated to reducing bullying around the country has shed a much-needed light on the harmful problem.

Now more than ever, children, teens, and even adults in the workplace, can be faced with 24/7 bullying in a digital world.

So it's appropriate that the day also marks Troll Free Day, aimed at educating people about how "trolling” on the internet can affect peoples’ lives.

Radio presenter Mel Greig copped a significant amount of online abuse after a devastating prank when she and co-host Michael Christian posed as the Queen and Prince Charles to gain information about the Duchess of Cambridge, ahead of the birth of Prince George at St Mary's Hospital in London.

The nurse who took the call committed suicide two days later and named the radio presenters in a note she left behind.

“I’ve made a noose Mel and it belongs around your neck, I can’t wait to watch you take your last breath.”

“Eye for an eye, I’m coming for you and your mum.”

Those are some of the messages Mel received following the news. 

“When I was struggling with depression, I actually started to believe what these invisible people were saying to me and I let them control my thought process. And I’m an adult with resilience," she said.

“So it shouldn’t be too hard to understand why suicide is the biggest killer of our young people. One in five children are being cyberbullied and they don’t have the resilience or understanding of how to deal with it.”

While National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence and Troll Free Day go a long way to educating people about the impact bullying and cyberbullying can have, it is important we don't forget about it when the day is over.

  • If you need help, you can call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or beyondblue on 1300 22 4636