Perhaps you’ve noticed some of your friends sporting fresh ‘staches, or perhaps you’re participating yourself and aiming for Burt Reynolds while raising money for charity?
What is Movember?
Since 2010 in Canada, Movember is a charity and awareness-raising campaign focused on men’s health. “Mo Bros” take up the Movember challenge, and begin growing mustaches as of November 1. Growing the moustache raises both awareness and money for charity that benefits men’s health causes.
Movember raises money for prostate and testicular cancer research. Beyond this, though, the campaign is committed to creating awareness and talking about issues that have previously been stigmatized, or perhaps caused some shame. Because these cancers are focused on the sex organs, there tends to be a certain amount of denial when it comes to checking. Part of what Movember aims to do is to remove the fear and stigma around testing for prostate cancer.
The reality is, men don’t live as long as women do, but the reasons for that are mostly preventable. By making simple changes, like taking better care of your physical and mental health, and getting regular checkups, you can live a longer, fuller life.
By the numbers in Canada
1 in 7 Canadian males will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, and testicular cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer amongst young Canadian men. But since 2001, when new screening and treatment methods were introduced, that number of men dying from these cancers is falling by 3% every year.
More than just Mos
Movember is not just about cancer, it’s also about men’s overall mental health, Professional Truck Drivers seem to be at a greater risk of mental illness according to this TruckNews article.
The reality is, men are raised and socialized in such a way that makes it difficult for them acknowledge and talk about their feelings. Attitudes like “it’s not manly to cry” have contributed to an atmosphere of toxic masculinity that is not supportive of men’s mental health. This traditional attitude of bottling things up inside and not talking about them (because society has always represented that men should only be strong, and any vulnerability makes you seem weak) has resulted in a suicide rate amongst young men that is disproportional and unnecessary. In Canada, 3 out of 4 suicides are men, and suicide is the second leading cause of death amongst Canadian males ages 15-44.
Modern mental health campaigns like Movember are trying to change all that, by encouraging men to take better care of not just their physical health, but their mental health as well, by talking, opening up and seeking support.
What you can do:
1. Get yourself checked. If you’re over 50, book a PSA exam with your doctor.
2. Check yourself. Know your own body, and check for abnormalities.
3. Know the signs. Be concerned about symptoms like frequent urination, weak or interrupted urine flow, blood in the urine, or increased urination at night.
4. Take care of your physical health. Eat right, move your body, get adequate amounts of sleep.
5. Take care of your mental health, ask yourself “Am I Okay?”. Do something on a daily basis that helps you with stress. Talk to your friends. Talk to your family. Open up about your fears and anxieties with someone you trust. Go see a therapist or join a support group where you can talk without judgement.
The moustache has become the symbol for Movember. It’s hard to miss! It’s right there on your face. But it’s more than just a ‘Mo. It’s a whole conversation, waiting to happen.
Thank you to those who supported our Mo-Safety Team, it isn’t too late to donate to this great cause: https://moteam.co/mo-safety
Additional information on health and wellness: