This experience leaves a lasting impact and can have adverse consequences on children's mental health.
In Kazakhstan, 17.5% of children are subjected to bullying from time to time, with 6.8% of surveyed teenagers experiencing harassment and intimidation by peers 2-3 times a month, according to Sarbaz.kz citing the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
Additionally, 14.1% of children aged 11 to 15 admitted to participating in bullying against their peers. These figures were obtained from a national study conducted in 2022 to assess and monitor schoolchildren's behavior concerning their health and well-being, carried out by the National Center for Public Health of the Ministry of Health of Kazakhstan.
The survey revealed that the rates of involvement in bullying were higher among boys compared to girls. The highest percentage of bullying victims was among 11-year-old children and decreased as they reached the age of 15.
"If last year the proportion of bullying victims (at least 2-3 times) among 11-year-old boys and girls was 17.7%, compared to 14% in 2018, this indicates a 3.7% increase in bullying victims among children," reported the Ministry of Health.
Early intervention is crucial in preventing bullying, as children should not be left to face violence alone. The vigilance and stance of teachers, along with trust-based relationships between parents and children, play a significant role in this regard.
According to the agency, this traumatic experience does not go unnoticed and can have profound negative consequences on children's mental health, potentially leading to depression and suicidal thoughts.
"Signs that a child has been subjected to bullying may include problems with concentration, depression, a sense of oppression, irritability, a feeling of insecurity, heightened sensitivity, stomachaches, fatigue, loss of appetite, limited social contacts, fear symptoms such as chest pressure, excessive sweating, backaches, muscle tension, and sleep disturbances. If you notice these signs in your child, immediate action is necessary, starting with informing teachers and collectively addressing the issue, involving psychologists, and, if necessary, juvenile inspection staff," warned the Ministry of Health.
Currently, there are 157 youth health centers operating to support teenagers and young people, including those dealing with bullying issues. These centers provide high-quality, free medical-psychosocial and medical-social assistance. In their activities, youth health centers utilize effective technologies aimed at preserving health, reducing risky behavior among teenagers, providing social support, and protecting their rights based on the principles of friendliness, accessibility, voluntariness, and trust.
Bullying is a systematic form of harassment, intimidation, physical or psychological terror intended to induce fear in others and, thereby, subjugate them. It is a prolonged process of deliberate cruel treatment.