Canberra Teams up with Facebook, Mental Health Group to Battle Cyber Bullying

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By Vittorio Hernandez | November 2, 2012 1:45 PM EST

Australia's federal government has teamed up with Facebook and Headspace and Project Rocket, a youth mental health group, to battle cyber bullying. They launched on Friday, Nov 2, the new campaign Be Bold and Stop Bullying.

The launch was held at the Matraville Sports High School with recording artist Ruby Rose participating in the roll out.

The campaign features a Facebook app that will encourage the 11 million Australians who have an account with the world's most popular social networking site to stand up against bullying, particularly done on the Internet.

The app includes a heat map which indicates how many Facebook users are following the campaign, resources on how parents and teachers could prevent bullying and tips on the creation of anti-bullying groups.

"Whether bullying happens online or face to face there's usually someone else who sees it happen," Headspace Chief Executive Officer Chris Tanti said in a statement. He warned that bullying's impact on mental health are serious and have long-term consequences.

The three-point pledge of the campaign are speak up, be an advocate and be a role model by standing up when witness to young people being humiliated or hurting each other through bullying, stick up for others in need of help beyond one's circle of close friends and not use the phone or computer to spread rumours or say hateful things.

Besides using the Facebook app, Minister for Mental Health and Ageing Mark Butler urge young Australians with concerns about mental health to visit the Web site www.mindhealthconnect.com.au.

"These innovative new innovations recognise that four in five Australians turn to the web for information about their health, including their mental health, and it's important to ensure accurate information is available where young people look for it," Mr Butler said.

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