MoH conducts nationwide anti-bullying campaign

|     Lyna Mohamad     |

A SURVEY conducted among 2,599 students aged 13-17 years in public and private schools throughout Brunei Darussalam has found that local youths are involved in certain aspects of life-threatening practices, including bullying.

According to a press release, the findings in the ‘Global School-Based Health Survey (GSHS 2014)’ conducted by the Ministry of Health through the Health Promotion Centre (HPC), also showed that 21.1 per cent of teenagers have been bullied.

From this number, 22 per cent are boys and 20.1 per cent are girls, while a survey carried out by the Department of Schools under the Ministry of Education found trends or patterns that are almost identical and in line with the GSHS research results.

Peer aggression among schoolchildren has been around for a long time, and it has even taken on a new form in the 21st Century as cyber or online bullying.

In this regards, the HPC, in collaboration with the Department of Schools, viewed that it is important to intervene to reduce and change risk behaviours, including bullying, among the students before it spreads, which is in line with National Vision 2035, to have a harmonious and prosperous society. A ‘Brunei Bully-Free Workshop’ for primary and secondary schools was held at the Anthony Abell College in Seria, involving 50 parents, teachers and student representatives yesterday.

Anthony Abell College’s student representatives, parents and teachers in a group photo

The workshop is one of the strategies identified in the Bully-Free Brunei (3B) campaign, which was presented by the Mental Health Strategic Unit at the HPC, with the support of the Department of Schools and the Royal Brunei Police Force.

During the workshop, information on the latest bullying issues was presented by Head of the Counseling and Career Unit at the Department of Schools Mohd Hatta bin Haji Suhaili, while Psychologist (Public Health) at the HPC Nor Syahmun binti Haji Matassan delivered presentation on ‘The Effects of Bullying on A Child’s Mental Health’.

Health Education Officer at the HPC Waajidun Ni’am bin Haji Dollah meanwhile presented basic training in project management to the parents, teachers and student representatives, as the ones who will disseminate and carry out the 3B awareness campaign at schools across the country.

The workshop concluded with the presentation of campaign posters to workshop participants by Co-Chairperson of the 3B campaign Nor Syahmun.