Prison support grows for Movember

Geraldton Guardian
Greenough Regional Prison’s Senior Officer Mitchel sports a moustache.
Camera IconGreenough Regional Prison’s Senior Officer Mitchel sports a moustache. Credit: Supplied

Greenough Regional Prison officers are not normally allowed to grow facial hair, but the Justice Department has decided to offer them a special exemption.

The officers will join about 23,000 other jail staff from Australia and neighbouring countries to raise awareness of and money for men’s health services through global fundraising initiative Movember.

The move to grow a moustache was spearheaded by the WA Prison Officers’ Union of Workers, which has developed a mental health training model recently adopted by prisons in New Zealand, Tasmania, NT, ACT and WA.

Union secretary Andy Smith said all prison officers in the country were affected in some way by cancer or poor mental health, so participating in Movember was a “natural progression” of ongoing efforts to tackle those issues.

“Because of the dangerous and stressful environment in which prison officers work, depression and suicide within the industry is sadly widespread,” Mr Smith said.

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“Prison officers face deaths in custody, verbal and physical abuse and at times witness horrific violence.”

The union hopes to raise $50,000 this Movember.

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