Children as young as nine have been in contact with a counselling service for young people after experiencing suicidal thoughts.
Yesterday marked the start of anti-bullying week, which is dedicated to protecting young people and promoting confidence, so children who are being targeted don’t feel alone.
Charity Childline has a base in Aberdeen, and regularly speaks to children and young people up to the age of 19 who may be being bullied.
In 2016-17, more than 5,000 counselling sessions were held by Childline – up 12% from the previous years, and more than double than were recorded five years ago.
Leanne Ferries, service manager for Childline in Aberdeen, said there has been a rise in bullying, with children affected at all times online.
Keep up to date with the latest news with The Evening Express newsletter
She said: “Every shift we speak to people who are experiencing bullying. It’s one of the most challenging things to deal with.
“It can lead to something more serious, such as self-harm, eating disorders and suicidal thoughts.
“It’s 24/7, they get bullied at school and it continues through social media, such as Snapchat.
“It goes through all ages. A big thing for us is people who have contact with children and young people to help them build their confidence.
“We have spoken to children as young as nine, 10 and 11 who have said they have had suicidal thoughts.
“There is help available, it’s really important for children to speak to someone.”
As part of the campaign, an emphasis on online safety is made, which encourages parents to check what their children are doing online, and if they have concerns, speak to the child and get in contact with NSPCC.
Leanne said the most important thing was to make sure those in contact with young people are speaking to them about it.
She added: “For some youngsters, it can feel like the end of the world, being bullied, but it isn’t. We are all equal but we are also all different.
“There’s lots of really good information about staying safe online.”
Children and young people up to the age of 19 who have concerns about bullying are urged to contact Childline on 0800 1111.
Any adults who are worried about a child should call 0808 800 5000.