Adults in charge need to "move away" from the belief bullying is "an inevitable part of growing up" because the long-term repercussions are so severe, according to the authors of a report into the psychological affects of school yard abuse.
Senior author Professor Louise Arseneault, also from the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College, said:
We need to move away from any perception that bullying is just an inevitable part of growing up.
Teachers, parents and policy-makers should be aware that what happens in the school playground can have long-term repercussions for children.
Programmes to stop bullying are extremely important, but we also need to focus our efforts on early intervention to prevent potential problems persisting into adolescence and adulthood.
An ex-private says he attempted suicide several times after his complains about being bullied were ignored by the army.
Joseph McCabe is taking civil legal action against the Ministry of Defence for its alleged failure to act, the BBC reported, as well as appealing against a decision to deny him financial compensation. He said:
I'm still having nightmares, I'm still having flashbacks. If I could I would lock myself up in a box and just hide away. But if I do that it's like I'm letting those people in the Army win so I have forced myself to take up a new career, to rebuild my life.
He said that he received death threats and was stabbed in the leg at the height of constant abuse centred on his stutter but that officers laughed off the threats and no-one was punished. The Ministry of Defence responded:
Whilst we can't comment on individual cases, we can be clear that the armed forces have a zero-tolerance policy towards all forms of bullying, discrimination and abuse.
All allegations will be fully investigated either by the civil or the military police and appropriate action will be taken.