Bullying and Cyberbullying

Bullying has become an increasingly common issue among young people.  Once you become aware that your son/daughter is being bullied then it should be addressed for the safety and welfare of the young person.  Likewise if your son/daughter is the bully it needs to be addressed and stopped.  There are lots of websites available that provide helpful tips and resources for you as a parent.

Foróige Against Bullying (F.A.B.) programme explores issues of bullying and support young people to develop the skills needed to deal to with bullying. After completing the programme young people will be able to recognise and deal with bullying behaviour in a positive way.

For more information contact Susan McLoughlin 086 6064291

Useful Link: http://www.tusla.ie/uploads/content/Teenagers_coping_with_bullying_d5.pdf

Cyberbullying & Internet Safety

A 2015 survey revealed that one in four Irish teenagers have experienced cyberbullying.  This form of bullying can have a particularly devastating effect on young people, and due to the nature of it young people often feel like there is no escape from it.  It can take place in many different ways and across many different platforms such as by text, e-mail, Facebook, Snapchat and other social media sites and apps.

It can be difficult to know if your child is being cyber-bullied, or is bullying someone else online as there are often no witnesses to the bullying.  There is however some signs that parents/guardians can look out for so a possible issue can be addressed.  If your child seems nervous or distressed when they receive a text, instant message etc, or depressed after spending time online or on their phone, and if they become reluctant to socialise or leave the house.

With so many new apps and websites appearing all the time it can be hard to keep up, but there are some tips to minimise the risk.  Place the family computer in an open area in your home, openly discuss privacy settings with your young people, make sure their online profiles don’t include any personal information, and monitor their internet use.  The most important thing is to have an open dialogue about internet safety and cyberbullying, and to make sure they know they can ask for help if they need it.

Donegal Youth Service offer one-to-one support for young people and parents who have concerns about cyberbullying and internet safety, as well as seminars and age appropriate workshops for young people, schools, youth groups, teachers and parents.  For more information contact Gareth Gibson, Youth Information Manager on 074 91 29630

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        Short videos on the Importance of Play have recently launched which was a collaboration between North Central CFSN and Lifestart Services.   Volume 1 https://youtu.be/xl2F2vZXhbg Volume 2 https://youtu.be/OOy4lmWggtM Volume 3 https://youtu.be/tmv40--l7fA Volume 4 https://youtu.be/Wr9bfTWddts Volume 5 https://youtu.be/7HLkBXvVTFE Volume 6 https://youtu.be/NuUXb51qZY0

Infant Mental Health Awareness Week runs from June 13th-19th.           

This week provides an opportunity to focus attention on the wellbeing, social and emotional development of our babies and young children. It highlights the importance of early relationships and a relationship based approach to interventions with infants and families. As our understanding of IMH and its evidence base develops, so also does our knowledge of how to apply this knowledge and an ‘IMH lens’ to interactions with infants, parents and caregivers in health and social services. 

What is infant mental health?

Infant Mental health (IMH) refers to the healthy social and emotional development of Infants starting at conception up to three years of age.

The first 1000 days of life are recognised as a critical period of opportunity to support infant mental health. Decades of research have shown that it is the quality of the early caregiver relationship that is a significant determinant of the infant’s healthy social and emotional development and in turn physical health, right up to adulthood.


The National Healthy Childhood Programme has embedded IMH as the foundation of the development of its resources and in the approach of the delivery of the universal child health service. This embedding of key messages can be seen in the My Child suite of books (www.mychild.ie/books) and also on www.MyChild.ie  where key messages around bonding and relationship building have been embedded for the parent/caregiver.


In clinical practice the topic of IMH has been included for the first time in the National Standardised Child Health Record. To build on this, the National Healthy Childhood Programme have just completed a suite of three eLearning units which are now available on HSEland for healthcare practitioners / caregivers who are working with children and families.  


Throughout the week you will see videos and key IMH messaging being promoted on the HSE MyChild social media pages ( Facebook / Instagram ). Keep an eye out in the National Newspapers for articles from our experts also. (IrishTimes article)  


In addition The National Healthy Childhood Programme have developed a series of ten practical videos with HSE expert advice which are now available on YouTube and on the relevant pages on the www.mychild.ie website.

These videos (2-3 minutes each) are aimed at parents/guardians of children (0 – 3 years).

These new video resources are available here while lots more expert advice for every step of pregnancy, baby and toddler health can also be found at www.mychild.ie

There are a suite of posters available focusing on the promotion of IMH messaging to order from healthy.childhood@hse.ie

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