Movember Event Raises Money and Awareness for Mental Health at Medina CSD
Joe Byrne and Nola Goodrich-Kresse accepting the check from Medina Central School District
Medina Junior-Senior High School Social Studies teacher and President of the Medina Teachers’ Association, Joe Byrne, has made a tradition of challenging his male counterparts in the district to grow some facial hair every November. “Movember” raises attention to the growing number of men’s health concerns such as mental health and suicide prevention, prostate cancer and testicular cancer. Staff are encouraged to make a pledge not to shave their mustaches for a full month. “Many of us deal with some strange looks and stares at school and the community along the way as we go from clean shaven to hairy, but it is for a good cause,” laughs Byrne. “It is always funny what students say and think about us as our mustaches progress.”
The money raised goes to the Orleans County Suicide Prevention Coalition. Mr. Byrne says this year the staff decided to continue bringing attention to a major health crisis that affects men. “Across the world, one man dies by suicide every minute of every day. Men account for 75% of all suicides. I'm so appreciative that our teachers, administrators, and staff continue to support this worthy cause. Men usually don't elaborate on their mental health issues because it's seen as a sign of weakness in our society. Now more than ever, we need to be able to talk openly about our social and emotional well-being. It's a tremendous feeling we are able to make a significant donation to Orleans County Mental Health and I know these funds will be earmarked to help assist countless numbers of men struggling with thoughts of suicide in our community."
Jeff Dole, a Math teacher at the Junior-Senior High School, organized this year’s fundraiser. Everyone was thrilled with the $1,400 that was raised. Mr. Byrne says a special shout out goes to retiring Social Studies teacher Doug Boje. “We were struggling to meet our goal the last few days in November and he sent an email to staff. He thanked those who already donated and gave the staff a challenge – he would match and double the highest donation for the last three days of the fundraiser. His gesture fits in with Movembers’s slogan on their suicide prevention page, “Be a man of more words.”
Superintendent of Medina Central School District, Dr. Mark Kruzynski says, “Every year, our faculty raises money for Movember and every year they continue to surpass the previous year. Mental health “IS” health, and I am proud that we were able to donate to this fantastic cause.” Nola Goodrich-Kresse, Chairperson of the Orleans County Suicide Prevention Coalition says, “We are very grateful to the Medina Central School District staff for this very generous donation. Mental Wellness is something we all strive for, but we understand there are challenges for some in seeking help anytime of the year, but especially during the holidays. We encourage anyone who is struggling to talk to someone they trust or call 988 to talk with a trained crisis counselor 24/7. The call is free and confidential.”