One in three students are bullied in schools worldwide. They are bullied most or every day. Persistent bullying and harm has been proven to lead to increased cases of depression, reduced academic achievement, social exclusion and self-harm. Consistent harm can also contribute to suicidal ideations.

The word stymie means to stop or thwart. Stymie allows students to support their peers in cases of overt bullying, covert bullying and all types of harm. We have designed a way to empower bystanders with the confidence to stand up for each other without fear; we are teaching and supporting students to say something.

Rachel Downie

Founder and Director, Australia

I have been a Secondary Educator for more than 20 years. I am thankful for and cherish my work each and every day; working with young people has been my absolute privilege. I have taught (and learned) in almost every educational setting there is, across many subjects with an eclectic variety of responsibilities.

Throughout my career, I have seen suicides skyrocket and parents grieve. I have helplessly watched anxiety and self-harm become an accepted norm. And, most recently, I have witnessed more and more of my students and our youth, treat each other with an increasing lack of respect, compassion and care. Serious bullying both overt and covert and the disempowerment of bystanders, has been spiraling out of control, right in front of me.

My catalyst for action, was when one of my students took his life. As staff, we knew there was something wrong but it was only after this death that the students then came forward with what could have been life saving information. To this day, I believe that if we had been given this information, we could have helped him. I felt compelled to do something, to say something, so I resigned from full-time teaching and pooled all of my resources into making Stymie for ‘our kids’.

Stymie is my way of harnessing help for our kids and providing a solution for school communities. Working together and allowing bystanders to make anonymous notifications, promotes empathy, social responsibility and allows free and unlimited access to young people who are targets of harmful action; they will know that they are not alone.

An important part of the Stymie journey is educating teachers, parents and students about their responsibilities in the cycle of bullying. If you are interested in having me speak with your school community, please contact me here.