BY GABE LICHT
Colors are commonly used to bring awareness to causes.
If you watch the NFL, you’ve probably noticed the color pink every where: pink gloves, towels, and even whistles. The color is synonymous with breast cancer awareness.
A different “color of awareness” that you may not be familiar with is orange.
That is the color PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center is encouraging people to wear on Unity Day, which is Wednesday, Oct. 19, to bring awareness to the issue of bullying.
“Orange provides a powerful, visually compelling expression of solidarity,” said Paula Goldberg, executive director of PACER Center. “When hundreds of individuals in a school or organization wear orange, the vibrant statement becomes a conversation starter, sending the unified message to kids to know that they are not alone.”
PACER is also encouraging individuals to promote Unity Day on social media by using the hashtag #UnityDay2016 or adding an orange “Together Against Bullying” frame to profile pictures on Facebook and Instagram. That frame can be found on the Unity Day page of PACER’s website.
Consider taking one of the above actions to reinforce the message that bullying is not OK, a message that Delano Public Schools teaches its students. One example is Delano Elementary School’s promotion of the “Tiger Way,” which teaches students to be responsible, respectful, and safe. Furthermore, the district’s webpage for each school includes a link to a bullying report form.
It’s important to discourage bullying.
It’s also important to support those who have been bullied, or who are depressed for any other reason.
That brings me to another date to remember: Nov. 7.
That’s when the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Minnesota will host a QPR suicide prevention class from 6 to 7 p.m. at Our Father’s Lutheran Church in Rockford.
QPR stands for Question, Persuade, and Refer. Just like CPR, QPR is an emergency response to someone in a crisis and can save lives.
To learn more about the class, contact NAMI at (651) 645-2948.
This week, this month, and always, I encourage you to speak out against bullying, speak up for those who have been bullied, and reach out to others who may be depressed or considering suicide.
The more aware we are of these issues, the more of an impact we can have on our loved ones, neighbors, and community as a whole.