Get access

‘Have You Talked with a Teacher Yet?’: How Helpline Counsellors Support Young Callers Being Bullied at School


Professor Susan Danby, School of Early Childhood, Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove Campus GPO Box 2434, Brisbane, Qd, Australia. E-mail:


When seeking help and support about being bullied, children and young people weigh up the benefits and risks of talking to their friends, parents, teachers and counsellors about their experiences. The focus of this article is calls to an Australian helpline for children and young people where the strategy of ‘talking to the teacher’ is discussed by callers and counsellors as a possible way of dealing with the caller’s bullying situation at school. Transcribed and analysed data extracts of calls show how the young callers’ bullying experiences are being heard by the counsellor and also reveals the skill of the counsellors in managing these calls within the philosophy and guidelines of the service.