The study involved questioning 2,629 individuals between the ages of nine and 25 about verbal abuse. The researchers found that 52 per cent of those surveyed had at some point witnessed friends and classmates being called names such as freak, schizo, crazy and psycho when they were going through a period of distress.
In addition to this, 45 per cent of those surveyed revealed that they themselves had been on the receiving end of names such as these when going through a tough time.
Lucie Russell, spokeswoman for the charity YoungMinds, expressed concern over the worrying results, especially when taking into consideration the fact that an average of three children in every classroom have a diagnosable mental illness.
Ms Russell hopes that these results will give the government a much needed push to work harder at addressing the stigma which surround mental health.
“This needs to incorporate a health promotion campaign aimed at both children and young people that normalises mental health and confronts the myths surrounding it”. She said.