By Justin Wilson, Wood’s Homes Communication Coordinator
Pink Shirt Day: Ever wonder where and how this movement started, and why?
It started with a pink shirt – literally!
Back in 2007, a group of young students in Nova Scotia organized a protest against the bullying of a Grade 9 classmate who’d worn a pink shirt to school. The boys decided to stand up for their friend by purchasing pink shirts for a number of their male classmates. The following day they wore those shirts as a proud show of support.
But Pink Shirt Day is about more than just bullying in schools or on the playground – it’s a day to stand against physical and emotional abuse of all kinds.
We live in a time where bullying has moved from something that occurs face to face to the Internet, cell phones and tablets. Many victims suffer in silence as today’s ever-present connection to social media, email and text messages leaves them vulnerable to everything from simple name-calling to serious threats. It’s up to all of us to educate, recognize and end the problem.
As a nationally recognized children’s mental health centre, Wood’s Homes knows how bullying can seriously, and negatively, impact the mental health of young people. Whether bullying occurs in the home, at school or over a digital channel, it can be a catalyst for an array of serious mental health struggles that include depression, anxiety, eating disorders, suicidal ideation and numerous other issues.
While recognizing Feb. 22 as Pink Shirt Day is a step in the right direction, it is up to everyone, every day, to speak up against bullying.
We’ve all experienced bullying in one form or another, so let’s push to make sure it becomes a thing of the past! No one should be left suffering.
Be sure to check out http://www.pinkshirtday.ca to find out more about Pink Shirt Day and how you can help make a difference in the lives of bullying victims.
Ask for help. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your friends, family and community – let’s work together!