Junction: Peer Support and Advocacy will be among the local groups celebrating Pink Shirt Day on Friday May 26.
The day is about standing up to bullying in all its forms, and began after a Canadian student was bullied at school for wearing a pink shirt.
This is the first year Junction has participated in Pink Shirt Day, and they will have a stall outside Greerton Library on Friday May 26 from 11am to 2pm, with a giant pink T-Shirt to write anti-bullying messages, balloons, stickers, give-aways and other information, to mark the occasion.
Team Leader Vaughan Cruickshank saysJunction is committed to celebrating diversity and addressing bullying every day.
“As a local NGO working in community alongside those experiencing mental illness and/or addictions, we know the impact bullying can have on one's life, no matter your age or background,” he says.
“Pink Shirt Day provides us with a platform to raise awareness and understanding of this serious issue and take action to address it, all while having a lot of fun.”
According to Mental Health Foundation chief executive Shaun Robinson, bullying is a significant problem in New Zealand and can have serious and ongoing impacts on mental health and wellbeing.
“We know that students who are bullied are more likely to experience symptoms of depression and anxiety and avoid going to school. In the workplace, bullying harms workers' health, wellbeing and ability to do their job,” says Shaun.
“While all young people can be the target of bullying, some groups experience higher rates such as those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI).
“It is a serious problem, but by speaking up, standing together and saying no to bullying, we can bring about change.”
For more information visit: www.pinkshirtday.org.nz