News & Events

Pink Shirt Day: Speak up and stop bullying

19 April 2024

Join the Pink Shirt Day movement on Friday 17th May 2024 to stop bullying. Speak Up, Stand Together, Stop Bullying – Kōrero Mai, Kōrero Atu, Mauri Tū, Mauri Ora!

Pink Shirt Day is an anti-bullying campaign committed to creating a kinder, more inclusive Aotearoa where everyone feels safe, valued, and respected – regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, age, ability, religion or cultural background. By taking part you’re showing your aroha and will help stamp out bullying by celebrating diversity and promoting kindness and inclusion.

Each year workplaces, schools, organisations and individuals join the movement to make a stand against bullying.

The Mental Health Foundation is committed to upskilling everyone in Aotearoa New Zealand to be Everyday Upstanders – people who call bullying out when they see it and support those who are being bullied.

Bullying is a serious issue in New Zealand. Every year, one in 10 workers report they have been bullied at work, and Aotearoa has the third-highest rate of school bullying out of 36 OECD countries. People who identify as part of the rainbow community experience higher rates of bullying, and studies show people who are bullied are more likely to experience mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety and even suicidal thoughts.

Pink Shirt Day 2024: Speak Up, Stand Together, Stop Bullying.

How you can get involved with Pink Shirt Day

Learn how to join the Pink Shirt movement as an individual or for your school or workplace.

The Pink Shirt Day website has lots of great ideas and ways you can show your support including:

  • posters or email signatures you can download; and
  • resources and merchandise that you can order.

Some facts about bullying

It isn’t rare to hear someone say something insensitive or mean to someone else. These comments or actions are not okay. However bullying has some specific features that make it more serious and harmful:

  • It is deliberate – harming another person intentionally;
  • 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 – it is not a normal part of growing up.

Bullying can be:

  • physical – hitting, tripping up;
  • verbal – insults, threats;
  • social – spreading gossip or excluding people; or
  • cyberbullying – bullying online, via the internet, mobile phones and social media. It’s a common form of bullying, especially amongst young people.

Bullying harms the person being bullied, the person doing the bullying and can also harm those who witness it (bystanders).

People are more likely to be bullied if they seem different from others. This can include being clever or popular, differences in race, sexuality, gender identity, ethnicity, religion, disabilities and abilities, weight or height.

It’s really important to remind people that it’s okay to be different from others and it’s not okay to bully people because they are not the same as you.

Source: Pink Shirt Day website.

Sweat with Pride

10 April 2024

Sweat for at least 21 minutes every day this June to get active and raise money to support our Rainbow communities. Fight discrimination with perspiration.

Run, walk, wheel, shimmy or skate – there’s no wrong way to get sweaty.

You’ll get your very own Perspirational Trainer with a unique motivational style to keep you sweating all month long!

Sweat with Pride is an amazing way to supercharge your own wellbeing whilst raising money for a great cause! After 30 days of getting sweaty our Sweaty Bettys report having:

  • More energy;
  • Improved sleep;
  • Better mental health; and
  • Pride in taking action to support our Rainbow communities.

Everyday life is still too damn hard for our Rainbow communities. Stigma and discrimination lead to higher rates of mental health issues and even suicide. Then there are the physical illnesses – STIs like syphilis and HIV disproportionately affect our community.

  • More than half of our Rainbow whānau have experienced mental illness;
  • Our gay and bi guys account for almost 80 percent of new HIV transmissions; and
  • 1 in 5 of our Rainbow rangatahi have attempted suicide.

So the Burnett Foundation (formerly the New Zealand AIDS Foundation), Rainbow Youth, OutLine and InsideOUT Kōaro are asking everyday Kiwis like you to take a stand for our community. Every dollar you raise will fund life-changing projects that will improve the mental and physical health of Aotearoa’s Rainbow communities. They don’t just need thoughts and prayers. They need sweat.

Immunisation Week: Protected to live healthier and happier lives

5 April 2024

World Immunisation Week (24th to 31st April 2024) is about celebrating the importance of immunisation – allowing children, adults, whānau and communities to live happier, healthier lives.

Being immunised is one of the best things we can do to protect ourselves, our whānau and our communities from a range of preventable diseases that can cause serious illness and even death.

The risk of severe illness this winter is high. So Health New Zealand encourages everyone across the motu to be protected.

It’s also a good opportunity to make sure your whole family – both young and old – is up-to-date with their immunisations.

Immunisation coverage of 95 percent is needed to help shield the population from serious diseases, like measles. Currently 81 percent of all children are fully immunised at 24 months of age. 66 percent of all tamariki Māori and 81 percent of all Pacific children are fully immunised at 24 months.

We all need to work together to reduce the spread of infectious diseases. Protecting yourself and your whānau against vaccine-preventable diseases means you’re also protecting the people around them – including those who can’t be immunised themselves.

Here are the important messages this World Immunisation Week:

  • Immunisation saves lives. Immunisation stops people from passing diseases to their whānau, particularly to those who may not have strong immune systems.
  • We desperately need higher rates of immunisation to help stop adults and tamariki from getting really sick and having to go to hospital this winter.
  • Vaccines on the National Immunisation Schedule are free for all tamariki under 18 in Aotearoa New Zealand.
  • Flu vaccines are available for everyone over 6 months old – and FREE for many people. Almost 2 million people are eligible to get free vaccines.
  • The updated COVID-19 vaccine booster is now available FREE for everyone over 30 years, pregnant people and those over 12 years at higher risk of severe illness.

World Immunisation Week is also an opportunity to recognise those people who have already been immunised and acknowledge those who helped make this happen – midwives, nurses, doctors and pharmacists who give the vaccines.

Catch up on your vaccinations: Protect yourself now and in the future

Immunisation is the best way to protect yourself and your whānau against a range of infectious diseases and remains a priority for whānau.

It’s important to check you are up to date with your immunisations, especially if you are;

  • leaving home for the first time – such as going to university or other tertiary education provider;
  • thinking of starting a family;
  • beginning a career; or
  • travelling overseas.

Catching up on your immunisations is easy, and often free from your general practice. Your practice nurse or doctor will be able to tell you what immunisations you need.

You can also protect your developing child if you are fully immunised. Catching rubella when you’re pregnant can cause miscarriage or serious birth defects. It is also recommended that pregnant women have the free seasonal influenza and whooping cough booster vaccinations to protect both them and their child.

Most people will be exposed to human papillomavirus (HPV) as older teenagers or young adults. Persistent HPV infection can lead to cervical and other HPV-related cancers. HPV also causes most genital warts.

There are some extra immunisations that aren’t usually free but are worth considering to make sure you’re protected. Some of these are free for those at higher risk of disease. Talk to your doctor about whether protection from the following diseases is a good idea for you:

  • Influenza;
  • Meningococcal disease;
  • Chickenpox;
  • Hepatitis A; or
  • Hepatitis B.

Older people need to keep their immunisations up to date too

Diseases like influenza and shingles can have a bigger impact on our health as we get older due to the risk of complications. Also you can protect your grandchildren and mokopuna from serious diseases by getting your immunisations up-to-date.

Your general practice can provide FREE immunisations to help keep you well:

  • Get FREE booster immunisations at age 65 to protect you against diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough.
  • FREE immunisation against shingles is available at age 65. People aged 66 to 80 years are eligible for a free vaccine until 31st December 2021.
  • FREE immunisation against influenza is available for those aged 65 and older.

Sources: Health NZ website.

Page last updated: 23/04/2018

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