“In 2012, Movember added the mental health cause. A lot of people know it for the prostate cancer side of things. But the mental health side hit home for me,” states Hermansen. “My grandfather really struggled with depression and ended up taking his life when I was very young. It’s a cause where we have some fun growing these facial hairs, but it’s also for a very serious cause and one that I’m very happy that we can start to have some conversations about, and have some fun along the way.”
And he says mental health is something society needs to flip the script on.
“We know that in Canada, three out of every four suicides are men. It’s a big topic that we need to shine a light on and flip the script on and make sure that guys know it’s okay to talk,” says Hermansen. “Part of being strong and tough is actually having that courage to ask for that help when we need it.”
Here locally, the CMHA says men’s mental health in the north is of particular concern.
“We do know that we have a higher rate of suicide within Northern BC over our southern counterparts, but also to men that work in the extraction and resource-based industry, or in agriculture, are now the occupations with the highest risks of suicide,” explains Mary Lu Spagrud, Manager of Education and Projects at CMHA’s Prince George branch. “When we look at our main source of occupations here, that’s a large part of our population that we’re talking about there.”
Spagrud says it’s important to seek help, and that may start with reaching out to the CMHA.
“We do act as a referral service. We could be that one-stop-shop, and if we don’t have the service then we can definitely hook individuals up to other programs, other services, within the community, and within the North as well.”
CMHA programs such as Living Life To The Full and BounceBack are both being offered free of charge, with Living Life To The Full being provided virtually and BounceBack being one-one-one coaching over the phone.
And if you are growing a mo for a bro, Hermansen does have some – perhaps questionable – tips.
“Eat your vegetables, get some good sleep, perhaps sprinkle a little cinnamon before bed. Maybe when you wake up there will be a little bit more growth. Or you can eat an onion, smell a block of wood. These are all totally unproven ways to entice your follicle growth.”
At CKPGToday, we have assembled a team of mo-growing bros in order to raise awareness and funds, all in an attempt to change the face of men’s health.
Donations to our team can be accepted by clicking here.