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Preventing Bullying

20 Bullying

In Greece in 2021, 1 call per day was made to the National Helpline for Children SOS 1056 of “The Smile of the Child” for psychological support in cases of bullying

In 202,1 45.57% of all calls to the National Helpline for Children SOS 1056 were made by children seeking psychological assistance.  In fact, 28.81% used the CHAT 1056 app to speak with a psychologist. Bullying and its effects on children’s mental health was one of the most pressing issues.  These side effects included eating disorders, sleep disorders, phobias, and suicidal ideation.

Bullying is a worldwide phenomenon that affects a large number of children and adults. According to a European survey on bullying coordinated by “The Smile of the Child,” one in three children in Greece has been bullied.

Many questions have been raised in the debate over school bullying. The first question is WHY?

According to European research, the inability of a child to defend him/herself is the most common cause of victimisation (57.03% of surveyed students), while sensitivity and nationality are the most common reasons for victimisation (44.6% and 44.34% respectively ).

The scientific view of the modern world emphasises that children should be informed about their rights in an age-appropriate manner, that they should be educated to report directly to parents and teachers any act that devalues and degrades them, that silence is never a solution, and that secrets that make us feel ashamed, scared, and unable to sleep at night do not exist.

“The Smile of the Child,” holds the Presidency of the European Antibullying Network (, and  has developed actions and tools in this direction, carrying out daily prevention and awareness interventions in the school community, as well as actions to deal with the phenomenon through the National Helpline for Children SOS 1056, as well as via the mobile mental health units that it has made available to schools.

At the same time, the Day Center “The House of the Child,” the first Greek specialised centre for dealing with abuse and bullying, is open. The Day Center’s interdisciplinary team (psychiatrists, child psychiatrists, child psychologists, pedagogues, social workers, speech therapists, occupational therapists, in collaboration with professional psychologists and social workers from the Children’s 1056 Line) treats the comprehensive and complex disorders that child victims face.

Finally YouSmile, an initiative of student-volunteers of “The Smile of the Child,” produces online TV and radio shows featuring teenagers speaking out against school bullying.

The goal and desire is for no family or society to be subjected to tragic events again.

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