MAKING A STAND: Rachel Downie, director of Stymie, is visiting schools across Australia to combat bullying.
MAKING A STAND: Rachel Downie, director of Stymie, is visiting schools across Australia to combat bullying. Tara Cassidy

The solution to stop bullying once and for all

EVERY three minutes a Queensland case of bullying or suicidal thoughts are being anonymously notified to a website created by a Sunshine Coast woman.

Stymie, created by former teacher and Buderim woman Rachel Downie, is one proven solution to preventing teenage suicide around the country.

Schools sign up to the program and encourage students report instances without pressure.

Ms Downie says bystanders make up the largest group in the cycle of bullying. Through Stymie, the bystanders have power to report with confidentiality.

 

Stymie, created by former teacher and Buderim woman Rachel Downie, is one proven solution to preventing teenage suicide around the country.
Stymie, created by former teacher and Buderim woman Rachel Downie, is one proven solution to preventing teenage suicide around the country. Lisa Downie

In the two years it has been running full-time - the results speak for themselves.

"This week alone I've had emails from principals telling me of reported cases, self harm screenshots, illegal fight clubs in schools, cyber bullying," Ms Downie said.

"A couple of weeks ago, Stymie was instrumental in stopping a boy take his own life.

"There is a Stymie notification every three minutes, that is mind blowing."

What is Stymie?

  • A website where students can anonymously notify schools of bullying, illegal activity, suicidal tendencies
  • The school are then able to confidentially follow it up with those affected in person
  • The notifications are encrypted, anonymous and confidential. Stymie does not store any information; merely the road upon which it travels.

Born out of tragic circumstances involving an ex-pupil killing himself, Stymie is saving lives left, right and centre.

 

Through Stymie, Rachel Downie visited 75,000 students last year, changing thousands of lives.
Through Stymie, Rachel Downie visited 75,000 students last year, changing thousands of lives. Lisa Downie

100 per cent of schools signed up have continued their membership.

Part and parcel of that membership, Ms Downie visits the schools to speak address all forms of bullying head-on - this she does largely free of charge.

Last year she spoke to 75,000 students and in the last eight weeks, she's amassed 24,000. Western Australia is next, then New Zealand.

 

Through Stymie, Rachel Downie visited 75,000 students last year, changing thousands of lives.
Through Stymie, Rachel Downie visited 75,000 students last year, changing thousands of lives. Lisa Downie

She said changes in technology cannot be halted and that school's "can't be blamed" for what happens at home.

"Everyone blamed the schools (after a life is lost) but why are schools responsible for what happens in a kid's bedroom at 1am?" she said.

"On average, Australian teens spend 33 hours a week online outside of school. That is twice the recommended time.

"They binge on weekends and come to school with their brains fried. Parents need to help by having a healthy sense of digital values at home.