Get information and advice - Sibling FAQs - How can I help my brother who is being bullied?
I have a diagnosis of mental illness and I know that I have done some weird things in the past; but now I have good medication and support and am getting my life back together. However, my younger brother (he’s 14) gets teased and bullied at school because of me. What can I do to help him?
It's good that you know that your brother is being bullied because bullying never stops unless other people know about it.
If you haven’t sat down and talked to him about it yet, now might be a good time to do that. He needs reassurance and support to help him deal with it and to be able to explore some of the reasons behind it.
Everyone in the family is affected by symptoms of mental ill health and your brother needs to fully understand what has happened and why. He also needs the opportunity to talk about his feelings towards you and perhaps his own fears for what might happen in the future (will you get ill again, will he etc.) This might help him to make better sense of it all and then feel better able to stand up to the bullying.
You could also tell him about our young siblings area at www.rethink.org/youngsiblings where he can find out more information about mental health.
It could be possible that he could join a young carers organisation in his local area, as they often include support for siblings.
You could also talk to the school as all schools have bullying policies and they should be able to intervene, they may also be willing to do some anti-stigma work around the issues of mental illness which would benefit everyone. This is something Rethink Mental Illness may be able to help you with. Contact 0300 5000 927 and ask to get in touch with our Mental Health Education team.
There are also some very good websites that deal with all aspects of bullying, for instance www.beatbullying.org www.bullyinguk.co.uk.
It might also be good to plan some shared activities for you and him, a chance to get away and have a bit of fun together so he can realise that you might have been ill but you’re still the same person and still able to have a good time.
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