Speak up and stand together to stop bullying
Global bullying prevention campaign Pink Shirt Day is here. Today, tens of thousands of New Zealanders will wear their pink shirts with pride, spreading aroha and kindness and encouraging others to speak up and stand together to stop bullying.
More than 30,000 official Pink Shirt Day 2021 t-shirts, which are being sold by Cotton On, have been purchased by Kiwis already, with last minute sales continuing in-store throughout Aotearoa on Friday while stocks last. People from schools, workplaces, communities and whānau will stand together to Kōrero Mai, Kōrero Atu, Mauri Tū, Mauri Ora – Speak Up, Stand Together, Stop Bullying!
Mental Health Foundation (MHF) chief executive Shaun Robinson says Pink Shirt Day is a great opportunity for all New Zealanders to take a stand against some of the bullying behaviour that they witness at work, in schools or out in the community.
He says the definition of bullying is that it is deliberate, it involves a misuse of power in a relationship, it is usually repeated or has the potential to be repeated over time, and it involves behaviour that can cause harm.
“If you witness this type of behaviour, we encourage you to awhi/support the person being bullied, or if it’s safe to do so, remove them from the situation altogether,” Mr Robinson says. “Too often this behaviour is not stopped, but it’s time we stepped up and called time on it.”
Mr Robinson says bullying can impact people’s mental wellbeing, leading to an increase in depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts.
“Diversity in Aotearoa needs to be celebrated. Unfortunately, homophobic and transphobic bullying directed at LGBTQIA+ communities is all too prevalent. Rangatahi/youth are telling us that this kind of bullying is really common. We need to speak up, show that it’s unacceptable behaviour, and stamp out this sort of bullying.”
The money raised through previous Pink Shirt Day campaigns has funded InsideOUT to run rainbow workshops and programmes for a number of years to help create more inclusive schools. It’s something Mr Robinson says the MHF is very proud of.
Workplace bullying is also prevalent in Aotearoa, with 1 in 10 workers admitting to feeling discriminated against, harassed, or bullied at work. The latest Pink Shirt Day workplace bullying prevention resource provides information on how to build and sustain a bully-free workplace.
“The research tells us that workplaces that prevent bullying have strong and well-communicated policies, their leadership team show a commitment to preventing bullying and will intervene if it occurs, they have positive communication and they see diversity in the workplace as being something to be really proud of. Our workplace bullying prevention resource covers this and is designed to help New Zealand organisations walk the talk.”
When these actions happen, a workplace will flourish and bullying will reduce.
Mr Robinson says there’s still time to get your Pink Shirt Day t-shirt in selected Cotton On stores across Aotearoa.
“Wearing a Pink Shirt Day t-shirt sends a powerful message to your peers, colleagues and whānau, and it’s a way of showing people who are being bullied, or have experienced it before, that they are not alone.”
100% of net proceeds raised will go back into the Pink Shirt Day campaign to enable it to continue to create positive change, raise awareness about bullying prevention and provide resources that promote inclusive communities.”
- Adult tees cost $25 and children’s $15.
- People can still buy their Pink Shirt Day t-shirts from select Cotton On stores around New Zealand – while stocks last.
- Visit the website: www.pinkshirtday.org.nz.
- There are a range of resources you can download to help bring Pink Shirt Day to life.
On Friday 21 May:
- Wear your t-shirt with pride and join the sea of pink today!
- Post a photo or video to social media and don’t forget to write #PinkShirtDayNZ.
- Share a personal story if you feel comfortable.