This Wednesday is Pink Shirt Day and it’s intended to raise awareness about bullying in our society.

Studies have shown children are watching 85 per cent of the time when one child bullies another and adults are rarely within earshot.

Other studies show children usually become bullies because they are unhappy inside for some reason and don’t know how to get along with other kids.

Numerous studies have found a link between bullying and the development of mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression.

There are a number of initiatives within School District 79 to address mental health issues and a recent announcement of new funding is welcome news.

Tom Longridge is the associate superintendent at the Cowichan Valley School District and said Roots of Empathy and the CALM Curriculum are some of those programs.

The initiatives help children and school staff better cope with the stresses of everyday life and recognize when someone is struggling.

Longridge said, overall, the District has been working to build capacity within the system so that teachers, guidance counsellors and others who deal with our children in the system better understand how to recognize the signs of distress in a student and how to deal with it.