Locals are being encouraged to support the latest campaign to prevent bullying and its associated effects, called ‘#DenisaysNO’.
Parents, carers and members of the community are invited to become part of the solution to bullying which is being explored by the Deniliquin Mental Health Awareness Group (Deni MHAG).
Following on from the Let’s Talk event in August last year and a visit from author and youth worker Sacha Kaluri in November, Deni MHAG will host a community action group meeting at the Intereach Neighborhood Centre from 7pm to 9pm on Tuesday, March 6.
Deni MHAG member Lourene Liebenberg said the aim of the informal forum is to encourage people to ‘‘put their hand up and to say they want to be part of the solution’’.
She said it’s intended to build on what was highlighted last year, which is the importance of the role of parents and adults in finding a solution to bullying.
‘‘The fact is that no community is safe from the devastating effects of childhood bullying, but we believe we can take effective, positive steps toward preventing bullying and stopping it when it occurs,’’ Mrs Liebenberg said.
‘‘Bullying can occur any place where kids connect, so prevention demands a community-wide response that will address the needs of all the children and youth involved.
‘‘This response will have to look at helping children that are being targeted, the bullies themselves and empower bystanders to take action as well.
‘‘We are also seeing the impact of bullying amongst adults, in the workplace, on social media and in community organisations.
‘‘The community action group meeting will provide an opportunity to brainstorm the specific issues in Deniliquin.
‘‘The focus of this particular event will be to establish the needs as perceived by the community and to establish pathways to finding solutions.’’
Mrs Liebenberg said possible steps moving forward after the community action group meeting might include forming an education/support group for parents, enabling them to learn skills to support their children.
‘‘We believe some of the solutions will have to come from partnerships between organisations and service providers in the community. As such, anyone from any organisation involved with kids and youth is invited to attend this evening,’’ Mrs Liebenberg said.
For more information, or to register to attend the action group meeting, contact Mrs Liebenberg on 0428281060.