An annual day of action celebrated in New Zealand and internationally, Pink Shirt Day Aotearoa falls on May 18th, 2012. The Foundation hopes that people across the country will wear pink shirts and start conversations about the power each person has to reduce bullying in communities, schools and organisations. We have been celebrating Pink Shirt Day in New Zealand since 2009, and the Mental Health Foundation's involvement began last year. We're working with several partner organisations, including Rainbow Youth and Diversity Works, to ensure a campaign that addresses the needs of all New Zealanders.
Weatherman and NZ's Got Talent host Tamati Coffey recommends that people "Wear a Pink Shirt as a mark of strength and unity." Along with Coffey, personalities Levi 'Nek Minnit' Hawken, Roseanne Liang, Witi Ashby and Hayley Holt worked with Mental Health Foundation staff and Borderless Productions to create a video in honour of Pink Shirt Day. The video features individual stories and frank discussion about bullying. "I believe we all have the power to change, a power to ask for help and also a power to intervene," says ex-gang member, Witi Ashby.
The Mental Health Foundation hopes to provide tools like the new video and paper, and events such as Pink Shirt Day to help create a New Zealand where all people feel safe, valued and included. "We all can take responsibility to prevent bullying and promote respectful relationships," says Chief Executive Judi Clements. "Pink Shirt Day is celebrated on only one day per year. We recognise that the work needed to prevent bulling must continue throughout the year to make a real difference.
Mental Health Foundationâ€™s recent paper Bullying Prevention and Mental Wellbeing can be downloaded here
More information about Pink Shirt Day, including resources and promotional material, can be found on the Pink Shirt Day website