The power of pink

The Glengarry News - - The Opinion Page - News

BY STEVEN WARBURTON

Staff Chris­tine Pen­ney was smil­ing as she sur­veyed all of her fel­low pink shirt-wear­ing em­ploy­ees of the Com­mu­nity Ad­dic­tion and Men­tal Health Cen­tre in Corn­wall last Wed­nes­day.

“We do this ev­ery year,” says Ms. Pen­ney, the cen­tre’s vi­cepres­i­dent. “We do it to raise aware­ness of bul­ly­ing, which has a very neg­a­tive ef­fect on peo­ple.”

In Canada, Feb. 28 has be­come a day of sol­i­dar­ity with bul­ly­ing vic­tims. It started in Nova Sco­tia in 2007 when a Grade 9 boy was bul­lied for wear­ing a pink shirt to school. The next day, his class- mates wore pink shirts as a show of sol­i­dar­ity with him. The trend took off and soon, schools and cor­po­ra­tions across the coun­try were hold­ing pink shirt days as a means of com­bat­ting bul­ly­ing.

But as an em­ployee of a men­tal health fa­cil­ity, Ms. Pen­ney says the issue hits closer to home.

“Some­times, our clients ex­pe­ri­ence men­tal health is­sues af­ter be­ing bul­lied,” she says. “Trau­matic ex­pe­ri­ences can trans­late into men­tal health is­sues.”

All in all, about 50 of the cen­tre’s em­ploy­ees wore pink shirts that day.

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