Bullying: How Mentorship Can Help


With the celebration of Pink Shirt Day in February, we thought it appropriate to talk about bullying and how mentoring can play a role in managing its damaging effects.

Bullying has been around for decades. The first story written about the harmful effects of bullying was written in the late 1800s. Still, it has only recently become a discussion point amongst parents and educators. For Gen Xers, bullying was accepted as a fact of life. The issue was rarely discussed or reported, and it definitely wasn't examined and tackled with the same level of attention as today's generations are giving it. Pink Shirt Day is one of many events focused on tackling the issue of bullying. 

The long-term effects of bullying can last long after the victimization has stopped. And can follow a young person into post-secondary school and even well into adulthood. It can affect grades, mental health, and social lives and can cause substance abuse issues. 

There has been some recent work done on the effects of mentoring on youth bullying – both on the bullied and their tormentors. By creating a sense of belonging and trust, youth stuck in a cycle of bullying can recognize the safety that a mentoring relationship brings. By creating an atmosphere where differences are celebrated, the traumas inflicted by being bullied can be better managed and dealt with sooner. Mentors need to recognize the possible signs of bullying in their Protégés, and Protégés need to know that they are safe to speak up. 

Mentoring is a partnership through all the ups and downs of a young person’s journey. And by creating an atmosphere that feels safe and trusting, Mentors can impact so much more than just future career prospects. It could change the trajectory of a young person’s life entirely. 

Are you an Indigenous student looking to get a mentor? We happen to have many! Click here to learn more and join our program.