A new study has suggested that bullying during adolescence could result in clinical depression, with almost one-third of young adults suffering from the mental health condition because they were targeted during their teenage years.

Conducted by Oxford University, the research examined the relationship between instances of bullying when people were 13 and cases of depression at 18 years of age. It was found that of the 683 teens who reported frequent bullying aged 13, 14.8 per cent admitted to being depressed at 18.

“While this is an observational study and no definitive conclusions can be drawn about cause and effect … interventions to reduce bullying in schools could reduce depression in later life,” it was concluded.

Mindfulness training courses could potentially be used to help reduce bullying in schools. Various practices can help both victims and bullies develop a deeper sense of self-awareness, as well as compassion and resilience.

In the February issue of Mindful, it was revealed that mindfulness techniques used in classrooms by Inner Explorer (which organises mindfulness programmes for schools in the US) led to an approximated 50 per cent reduction in reactive behaviour.

Mindfulness can do an awful lot to raise an individual’s self-esteem and confidence levels, while also reducing anxiety and symptoms of depression. By introducing classes into schools, the amount of bullying going on could well be reduced as those doing the bullying learn to value themselves more highly and view their classmates in different ways.

Do you think such techniques could make a difference at school? Share your thoughts in the comments below.