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Forest Lake SHS staff grow a mo for men’s health

Jamie Furness    November 29, 2022    3 min read   

Staff and students from Forest Lake State High School have been actively participating in Movember this year, with their efforts raising almost $2000.


On November 1, FLSHS staff members Mr Lucas Nicholls, Dr Grant Darnell, and Mr Mike Van Barneveld were bravely shaved clean in front of all the students at Forest Lake SHS during lunch time to signify the start of the Movember campaign.


The team, which also consists of 3 women, have since also ran a collective total of 357 kilometres to raise money towards the cause.


Movember aims to change the face of men’s health by raising funds and awareness of men’s health issues, including men’s suicide, prostate cancer and testicular cancer.


Men are encouraged to grow a moustache, meanwhile men and women can get involved in running or walking 60km for the 60 men lost to suicide every hour across the world.

Dr Grant Darnell, Mr Lucas Nicolls and Mr Mike Van Barneveld before and after the Movember launch shave.


Forest Lake State High School deputy principal Lucas Nicholls had a personal stake in the project this year.


“I lost my dad earlier this year,” Mr Nicholls said.


“He went through his own struggles and his own battles with mental health over the years and never really reached out. That’s not the reason he passed, but it certainly was a bit of a catalyst for me to reflect on things and reflect on how I could help others, and this has been a small part of that.”


Mr Nicholls said growing a mo’ was the least he could do to support those around him who need support, but may not have the courage to ask for it yet.


The FLSHS team smashed their goal of $1000 and are hoping to make it to $2000 before the end of November.

Mr Nicholls said there was a growing demand and a growing increase of services to facilitate whole-school wellbeing for students and staff at Forest Lake SHS.


“We do a good job at our school in terms of supporting our students, but the work that we’re going through over the next few years is developing a whole-school framework that supports everyone within our local community,” he said.


“We’re hoping our school can be a hub for wellbeing, not just for staff and students but potentially wider.”

The students at FLSHS also got involved with the Movember launch.

Mr Nicholls said the school was doing a great job in terms of student wellbeing with multiple programs.


Currently at FLSHS, students have access to a student wellbeing hub, a health nurse, and a range of cultural supports.


They also maintain strong connections with external programs including Headspace, PCYC, and CYMHS (Child and Youth Mental Health Service) and Beyond the Broncos.


“We also have access to a youth support coordinator … she does a lot of work in terms of supporting students dealing with immediate homelessness, accommodation needs, and supporting them with things like Centrelink and bus passes,” Mr Nicholls said.


The FLSHS Movember team smashed their initial fundraising goal of $1,000, and were at $1,815 by November 29.


To help them reach their new goal of $2000 before the end of the month, visit their fundraiser page here.

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Jamie Furness