Bullies, victims and suicidal thoughts

Young people who are either victimised by others or act as the bully themselves could be more prone to having suicidal thoughts. This is the suggestion of new research from the University of Warwick, which found such children are three times more likely to think this way before they reach 11 years of age.

Published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the investigation revealed these 'bully-victims' are at increased risk of having considered taking their own life or to have engaged in a form of self-harming.

However, the reasons for such a finding could only be put down to emotional issues that already existed, or other family circumstances.

Professor Dieter Wolke, a Chartered Psychologist from the University of Warwick, said the report highlights suicide-related behaviour as a problem of great seriousness for today's youth:

"Health practitioners should be aware of the relationship between bullying and suicide and should recognise the very real risks that may be evident earlier in development than commonly thought."