The power of pink
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.