News & Events

Pink Shirt Day: Stop bullying and spread kindness

8 April 2019

PSD.Logo.BlackJoin the Pink Shirt Day movement on Friday 17th May 2019 to stop bullying and spread kindness. Speak Up, Stand Together, Stop Bullying – Kōrero Mai, Kōrero Atu, Mauri Tū, Mauri Ora!

Pink Shirt Day aims to reduce bullying in Aotearoa by celebrating diversity in all its forms and supporting workplaces, communities and schools to be safe, supportive, welcoming and inclusive of all people. All people can be the target of bullying, but some groups or individuals experience more bullying than others. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual and other sexuality and gender diverse identities (LGBTQIA+) people experience higher levels of bullying.

Pink Shirt Day started because people wanted to stop homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying, and this remains a strong focus of Pink Shirt Day in Aotearoa.

Bullying can have serious and ongoing impacts on people’s mental health and wellbeing. Many studies that show that people who are bullied are more likely to experience mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety and even suicidal thoughts. Mental health problems – like other health conditions – can affect a person’s work and cause substantial costs to organisations. Workplaces have a legal responsibility under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 to manage risks to mental health and wellbeing just like they do any other health and safety risk.

How you can get involved with Pink Shirt Day

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

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 uncommon to hear someone say something insensitive or mean to someone else. These comments or actions are not okay, but bullying has some specific features that make it much more serious and harmful.

  • Bullying is deliberate – harming another person intentionally.
  • Bullying involves a misuse of power in a relationship.
  • Bullying is usually not a one-off – it is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated over time.
  • Bullying 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).

There are many reasons why someone might bully someone else, just as there are many reasons someone might experience bullying. Labelling someone who bullies as a “bad person” isn’t right or helpful. The bullying behaviour isn’t okay, but someone who bullies others often needs our help and support too.

Source: Pink Shirt Day website.

Immunisation Week: Protecting our families and communities by getting immunised

11 March 2019

Immunisation Week (29th April to 5th May 2019) is about raising awareness about the importance of immunisation to protect against serious illnesses. ‘Protected together’ is the theme for this year’s Immunisation Week. The theme highlights the way that high immunisation rates work to protect those who are too young or sick to be immunised themselves, as well as the way health professionals and families work together to protect our community.

Disease outbreaks can have serious consequences for families and communities. Those who are not immunised – whether that’s by choice or other circumstances – are worst affected by these outbreaks. Outbreaks in schools or early childhood centres can mean weeks of disruption for families as unimmunised children can be excluded from pre school or school.

Here are the key messages this Immunisation Week:

  • High immunisation rates protect our whole community from the spread of serious diseases.
  • Protecting your child from serious diseases means you’re also protecting the people around them – including those who can’t be immunised themselves.
  • Make sure your whole family – young and old – is up-to-date with their immunisations. See the .
  • Immunisation is one of the best ways to protect your whanau against the risk of serious diseases.
  • Immunisation coverage of 95 percent is needed to help shield the population from serious diseases, like measles. We all need to work together to reduce the spread of infectious diseases.
  • New Zealand’s midwives, nurses, doctors and pharmacists all play an important role in making sure our whole community is immunised.

Find out more about staying protected from serious illnesses through immunisation (Ministry of Health).

See the National Immunisation Schedule for a list of FREE recommended immunisations for you and your family (Ministry of Health).

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

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.

Many diseases like measles and tetanus can make adults seriously ill. Over 400,000 Kiwis between 10 and 29 years old are at risk of catching measles in an outbreak. You need two doses of measles vaccine to be best protected.

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/moko 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 to protect you against diphtheria and tetanus.
  • FREE immunisation against shingles is available at age 65, and for those aged 66 to 80 years for a limited time.
  • FREE immunisation against influenza is available for those aged 65 and older.

Sources: Health Promotion Agency and Ministry of Health websites.

Page last updated: 23/04/2018

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