DURBAN-- The suicide of a teenager in Chatsworth, about 20 kilometres south of here, last week, has turned the spotlight on adults emotionally bullying children through name calling.

Seventeen-year-old Matthew David took his life after teachers at his school called him derogatory words suggesting he was gay.

Clinical Psychologist Dr Sherona Rawat who says the effect of teachers and parents calling teenagers derogative names has far-reaching consequences.

She says name calling should not be seen as a form of discipline and should be dealt with on a broader scale in society.

Name calling is extremely damaging, because not only is it just a negative kind of stimuli that's thrown at somebody but it's usually done in public spaces which is humiliating as well," says Dr Rawat.

"Calling children names creates very negative feelings about themselves and negative self-perceptions. It affects your self-esteem and self-confidence. They will have difficulty trusting themselves."


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