Unique partnership launched to improve Birmingham’s youth mental health crisis – tackling bullying in schools

A unique city partnership to improve the mental health and future potential of children in Birmingham has been announced during Anti-Bullying Week 2019 (Monday 11 to Friday 15 November).

The University of Birmingham, Birmingham Children’s Hospital and HSBC UK have joined forces to tackle childhood bullying, a preventable root cause of mental health illnesses.

Childhood is a crucial time for establishing good mental health and wellbeing.  International data shows that over 50% of all mental health concerns start before the age of 14-years-old and that children who were bullied at 13 are twice as likely to develop depression by the age of 18.

Thanks to the generous support and vision of HSBC UK as founding donor to this research collaboration, as part of the University’s Birmingham In Action campaign, the partnership will see the University of Birmingham and Birmingham Children’s Hospital explore the relationship between predictors and incidents of bullying in Birmingham. It will also uncover the scale of the problem in the city and identify ‘hidden’ communities of children affected, making it a first crucial step to help the NHS predict future demand.

Alongside understanding the scale of the bullying the research team will trial an innovative anti-bullying intervention scheme – the KiVa programme – in Birmingham schools.

The pilot will begin in five schools, including The Meadows Primary School, Bournville School Primary, Wychall Primary School and St. Mary's CE Primary School, Selly Oak before rolling out to a further 30 schools, as part of a multi-site national trial, with a view to eventually reaching over 8,000 children in its first stage.

For updates on this research please check this webpage and follow the Institute for Mental Health on twitter.  For general enquiries about this research programme please contact us.

If you have been affected or are concerned about someone affected by the effects of childhood bullying, please visit the website links below for information on advice and support available. 

Learn more about how we're supporting young people's mental health