In a country of less than 3 million people over a 1000 kill themselves each year. Lithuania has the highest rate of bullying among school-aged children among 40 countries, and suicide rate of teenagers exceeds the EU average 3 times. Bullying and culture of violence is unusually high throughout all social strata. Project aims to raise awareness of harm of bullying and methods of suicide prevention, including importance of timely identification of the risk and intervention, with special focus on children and young people, and foster active citizenship through recruitment and training of volunteers providing help online and by phone. Project shall produce new concept of “Don’t be afraid to talk campaign” and revise/update the online help tools, organize 6 consequent events in various regions of Lithuania, conduct 10 trainings on online bullying and create educational video on it for children and teenagers. Also NGO/media partnership shall be built and 15 communication ambassadors for prevention of bullying and suicide shall be trained. Target groups: children, young people, NGOs and media.
Summary of project results
According to research of World Health Organization the occurrence of bullying among 15 year-old teenagers in Lithuania is the highest among 35 countries investigated. Moreover, suicide rate among teenagers age group is the highest among EU member states and exceeds the EU average by 3 times. The bullying issue is even more severe in electronic space where bullying messages spread even faster and frequently remain anonymous. More than 1/3 of children of 9-10 years age use internet while they still lack skills of assessing the risks of exchange of information or personal data. On the other hand, they cannot adequately assess the harm done by their bullying actions, while parents usually remain unaware of children’s activity online. The suicide issues are greatly related to wrong perceptions of the society that they are committed mostly by asocial or psychologically unstable persons and attempts of help may do more harm than benefit. While in fact there is a clear link between bullying and suicides of children and youngsters. The key problems addressed with the project were insufficient awareness of bullying and suicide issues, prevailing false provisions and attitudes, lack of information on cyberbullying. In addition to that, NGOs often face problems and distrust when organizing various preventive initiatives. Project was aimed at increasing public awareness and understanding of bullying and suicide prevention, with a special focus on children and young people, and to encourage society to participate actively in solving these problems. The following results were achieved during the project: a) a new concept of the event "Do not be afraid to talk" developed, 6 events organized in different cities of Lithuania; b) website nebijokkalbeti.lt upgraded and filled with actual information and publicity materials; c) 200 representatives of educational institutions trained on cyberbullying prevention; d) national conference on the prevention of bullying held on 22 October, 2014; e) educational film for students about cyberbullying created and disseminated; f) a number of various communication, consultation and awareness raising activities implemented to sensitize public society and social activists. The project is likely to have an extended impact as the initiatives carried out involved a great part of society, especially youngster and celebrities, and were very visible throughout various types of media and public spaces.
Summary of bilateral results