Something strange happens at this time of year. An unprecedented number of men are sporting fantastic facial hair. Mates who previously may have limited themselves to a beard or even a goatee are rocking intricate moustaches. There are handlebars, horseshoes, pencil and even toothbrush ’staches.
It can only mean one thing: it’s Movember.
There’s no denying that Movember is fun to get involved in. A lot of guys like to grow a mo, and while many blokes (or perhaps their spouses or partners) prefer to make it temporary, the fun factor is arguably one of the reasons why so many people get into it each year.
For all the fun that goes with it, though, Movember is an event with a serious agenda. Its mission is to stop men from dying prematurely and it does this by targeting the most common health issues faced by men, namely:
- Mental health and suicide prevention.
- Prostate cancer (the rate of prostate cancer is set to double in the next 15 years).
- Testicular cancer (the rate of testicular cancer has doubled in the last 50 years).
On average, men die six years earlier than women — and prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health and suicide make up a large percentage of this number.
Movember focuses heavily on mental health and suicide prevention in men. One in two men have experienced a mental health problem at some point in their lives, while the number of suicide deaths is approximately three times higher in men than in women.
Movember has a simple goal — to stop men dying young. So how can you help?
Get involved with Movember 2018
During the month of November men grow (or even improve on) a moustache to help raise funds and awareness for the above-mentioned men’s health causes. While growing a moustache is what the event is best known for, did you know that there’s even more you can do to get involved?
Grow a mo
Growing a moustache is obviously what Movember is best known for. The official Movember site has excellent ideas on not only how to start growing it but also on how to help raise awareness and how to be an effective fundraiser. This could be at work, in your community, at TAFE or university or even at school.
Women get involved too
Involvement with Movember isn’t limited to people who grow facial hair. The Movember website puts it as follows: “While Growing a Mo is left to the guys, Mo Sistas (women who love Mo’s and want to support men’s health) do a lot of important work for Movember. Mo Sistas can raise funds and awareness…”
The site lists various ways in which women contribute to Movember.
Attend or (even better) host an event
A heap of Movember events are held during the month, from sausage sizzles to fitness sessions. There are also month-long challenges. For example, many people try to walk 60km by the end of the month.
These events raise money or help promote physical health and mental wellbeing. Go to one and invite your mates. Even better, consider hosting an event of your own. Your event doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking — it can be as simple as a get-together.
You can check out what events are on here.
Check in with your mates
Seventy percent of men say their friends can rely on them for support, but only forty-eight percent say that they rely on their friends. This research suggests that, although men are often there for their mates, they rarely ask for help themselves.
Make a point of checking in with your mates. Staying connected with them is not only important — it’s also good for you (and for them).
Have open conversations
“Talking about it” is one of the most important things that anyone can do when it comes to mental health and emotional wellbeing.
You can be there for someone and you don’t have to be an expert or the sole solution. Simply reaching out to help a mate “open up” can make a huge difference to their wellbeing.
If you do need to talk to a professional, remember that NQ Connect counsellors are available anytime you need them. Call us on 1300 059 625.
Need help? You can find support services in northern Queensland or complete a self-administered K10 test for depression and anxiety. You can also join the online mental health forum to talk with like-minded people.