CGI hyenas used by charity to highlight online bullying fears

Children’s charity Barnardo’s latest film uses computer generated hyenas as it shows the shocking mental health anxieties children face due to online bullying.

Joe Lepper | 9th Sep 19

Barnardo’s has created a hard-hitting online and TV film featuring CGI hyenas to highlight the mental health challenges children face at school, such as online bullying.

The Believe in Me video has been released by the children’s charity to promote research showing the anxieties children experience, to coincide with the the start of a new school year this month.

The film features snarling computer generated hyenas to symbolise cyber bullies and show the stress that a frightened girl feels due to being targeted via her mobile phone at night.

It has also been released as a television advert, as well as being made available via the charity’s website and Youtube.

> See also: Should charities be doing more to stop online bullying?

“Our TV advert makes for challenging viewing, but we want to show the very real fear and distress experienced by many children accessing Barnardo’s services,” said Barnardo’s Chief Executive, Javed Khan.

“As a former teacher, I know that children returning to school after the summer worry about whether the work will be too hard, that they won’t like their new school, or that they might get picked on by other children.

“And for the vulnerable children Barnardo’s supports, this often comes on top of other challenges – such as a history of sexual abuse, criminal exploitation, or being in the care system.

“One-in-eight children aged 5 to19 in England has at least one mental health disorder and many reach crisis point before receiving treatment. Our UK-wide specialist mental health services see first-hand how anxieties have the potential to cause long lasting trauma.

“But as our new TV ad demonstrates, with the right support from a trusted adult, children can recover from difficult experiences and work towards a positive future.”


Online bullying survey results

Barnardos has released the results of a YouGov survey of children alongside the film launch.

This found that four out of five children know a bullying victim, while around a third of 13-year-olds surveyed said their friends had been sent abusive messages online.

> See also: Free mental health ‘hack day’ for charities launched

Around four out of ten 15-year-olds said a friend had experienced someone telling others fake things about them online.

The charity is calling on the government and education inspectorate Ofsted to prioritise children’s mental health and ensure all young people and their families have access to guidance on safe social media use.

The survey, of more than 1,000 eight to 15-year-olds was carried out during August this year.