Bullying, is it an issue at the post-secondary level?

Photo by Asim Pervez

Poster promoting mental health in adults.

Bullying is something you may hear less about at the college or university level.

There are many forms of bullying: online, physical or verbal.

Allison Hector-Alexander, director of the office of Student Diversity, doesn’t take bullying lightly.

“When these concerns come to us, we take them very seriously,” she says. “We respond to both the person who feels like they are being treated different, bullied and we do (respond) to the person who is perpetrating the behavior.

“It could be somebody in class, it could be a fellow student, it could be staff, it could be faculty, whoever it is, we have measures that we put in place to respond to it.”

On campus, the mental health hotline Aspiria is open 24 hours, seven days a week for students who want to speak with a counsellor confidentially.

According to Aspiria’s clinical director, Eric Rubel, post-secondary schools have paid more attention to bullying awareness in recent years.

He says bullying isn’t something that should go unaddressed, as a victim can be hurt emotionally and physically.

It can be traumatizing depending on the type of bullying. It can certainly affect ones emotional mental health well-being,” he says. “It can certainly impact someone later on in life as well if you don’t address the issues sooner. Bullying can effect one’s well-being, mentally and physically.

Shannon Podehl, is a Social Services student. She says that post-secondary schools should do a better job of promoting bullying issues, or should have anti-bullying awareness days and weeks.

“Just putting more awareness around the school, poster and stuff, maybe having, just like you would in high school, days where there is bullying awareness days, or an anti-bullying week,” she said.

Derrick Peterson, a Business Operations Management student, says bullying awareness received a lot more attention in elementary school and high school.

I think we should treat it the same as we did in public school(s) and high school, people need to be safe here,” he said.

Students can visit the Mental Health Services if they would like to speak to someone confidentially. If they prefer not to speak face to face, they are free to call Aspiria at 1-877-234-5327.

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