Home > Action plan on bullying. Report of the Anti-Bullying Working Group to the Minister for Education and Skills.

Anti-Bullying Working Group. (2013) Action plan on bullying. Report of the Anti-Bullying Working Group to the Minister for Education and Skills. Dublin: Department of Education and Skills.

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P.33. Self harm and suicidal behaviour
The National Office for Suicide Prevention reports that Ireland has the fourth highest rate of youth suicide in Europe49 (based on 2009 data) and the National Suicide Research Foundation reports that in 2010 1,198 young people, aged 19 and under, were treated in hospital as a result of deliberate self-harm.50 It should be noted that many incidents of self-harm and suicidal behaviour are not reported.

Self-harm and suicidal behaviour are often closely related and some studies have found that repeated self-harm can be a predictor of suicide. The National Suicide Prevention Strategy for England includes a section on preventing suicide following self-harm. The risk-factors for self-harm are quite similar to those for suicidal behaviour and include psychological, biological, social and environmental factors and factors related to personal history.

The trigger for self-harm and suicidal behaviour can be an unfortunate event, such as a relationship breakdown, interpersonal problem or financial difficulty. Depression or other psychiatric disorders, affiliations with deviant peer groups, binge drinking, and being victimised by violence or bullying, can also be important associated contributing factors.

Research by McMahon et al identifies other factors associated with self-harm for both genders as drug use and knowing a friend who had engaged in self-harm.

P.35 Impact on individuals who engage in bullying behaviour
There are consequences also for individuals who engage in bullying behaviour. Children who become involved in such behaviour are also at risk of depression. Indeed, it has been claimed that the greatest risk of suicidal thoughts was detected amongst youngsters who bullied.

Some of the possible long-term consequences associated with bullying others include: an increased risk of developing an anti-social personality; anxiety disorders; a likelihood of drug abuse and lawbreaking behaviour in adulthood; decreased educational and occupational attainment; and an aggressive parenting style...

Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Report
Drug Type
All substances
Intervention Type
Education and training
January 2013
126 p.
Department of Education and Skills
Corporate Creators
Anti-Bullying Working Group
Place of Publication
Accession Number
HRB (Electronic Only)

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