It’s that time of year again! Whether it’s your least favorite month, or this is your time to shine – Movember is back!
While the fun is certainly in the facial hair … Movember is more than just the opportunity to fill in those mutton chops or grow a socially acceptable handlebar moustache. The meaning of this month goes further than flexing the best (or worst) facial hair fashion, it’s the chance to take part in a global movement to support and promote men’s health.
“The moustache is something of a Trojan Horse that encourages men to engage with their health and talk about the things they often don’t, but should,” says Mitch Hermansen, Western Canada Lead for Movember, “There’s no such thing as a bad moustache. They can all start conversations and save lives.”
Founded in 2003 among four friends, Movember is now the world’s leading men’s health charity, with more than 6 million global supporters all committed to changing the narrative surrounding male health and helping men live “happier, healthier, longer lives”.
The average life expectancy of a man is 6 years shorter than that of the average woman. Movember is working to minimize this gap by focusing on the three factors that pose the greatest risk to mens health worldwide: prostate cancer, testicular cancer and suicide.
Globally, there are 9.9 million men living with or experiencing the effects of prostate cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men, with 1 in 9 men being diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, and approximately 1 in 41 men dying as a result.
Testicular cancer is the world’s most common cancer among men ages 15-39, and the American Cancer Society estimates 1 in every 250 males will develop testicular cancer during their lifetime. Education, early detection and effective treatments have put the survival rate for this diagnosis at greater than 95%, however the long-term side effects and impacts can have lasting negative implications on quality of life for survivors.
The Movember foundation works to minimize the global impact of these dominant male cancers by funding initiatives and collaborating with innovative global organizations that promote education, early detection and personalized and affordable treatment.
As a holistic men’s health organization, the Movember approach prioritizes mental health as much as physical. Globally, the male suicide rate is shockingly high, with one man dying by suicide every minute of every day, and 6 out of 10 suicides being committed by men (1).
Movember examines and addresses the complex structural factors that contribute to the male suicide rate and keep men from speaking out and seeking help. “We provide men with the tools, avenues and resources to support and engage with their own mental health,” says Hermansen, “as well as ways to support one another.” By facilitating a global conversation surrounding male health and focusing on the three top health risks men currently face worldwide, Movember aims to reduce the number of men dying prematurely by 25% by the year 2030.
This November, there are 4 opportunities to get involved with Movember and contribute to men’s health.
1. Grow your own Mo and raise funds with your face
2. Run or walk 60 km as a part of Move for Movember in recognition of the 60 men lost to suicide each hour, every hour
3. Gather a group and Host a virtual Mo-Ment, and have a good time for a good cause
4. Design your own fundraising challenge and Mo Your Own Way.
Visit movember.com to learn more about men’s health and how to get involved, or to create a profile and start fundraising.
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