Mustaches have become a symbol of awareness for men's health during the month of November.
From handlebar mustaches to the classic English mustache, the famous mutton chops, and even the famous “Monopoly man” mustache.
You may have noticed that November is the month of the mustache. You may have even heard of No Shave November. But you may be wondering just what facial hair has to do with awareness.
What is Movember?
Movember is the only global charity focused solely on men’s health.
Cleverly combining the words mustache and November, Movember is helping to transform how men think about their health – and how they act on it.
During the month of November, the charity, their partners, and advocates worldwide focus on raising awareness and funding for research on critical issues in men’s health. Their main focuses are on mental health and suicide prevention and prostate and testicular cancer.
Why is Movember Important?
According to the Movember charity,
“Men’s health is in crisis. Men are dying on average 6 years earlier than women, and for largely preventable reasons.”
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, in 2019 men died by suicide over 3.5 times more than women did. Jill Harkavy-Friedman of the AFSP says:
"Men seek help for mental health less often...they're a little less likely to know they have whatever stresses or mental health conditions that are putting them at greater risk for suicide."
Prostate and testicular cancer are also leading causes of death among men. And testicular cancer is the most common cancer in young men.
Movember allows us to raise awareness on these cancers to help with early detection and treatment that can be life-saving!
How is Movember Helping?
The Movember charity is the leading charity fighting for awareness on men's health. Since 2003, the foundation and their partners have raised funds to help more than 1,250 projects focused on men's health issues.
They’ve also created a social media storm with the hashtags #movember #menshealth and #mentalhealth on Twitter and Instagram! Memes have also been big since the start of Movember, making their mark on Reddit threads everywhere.
Projects that have been funded through the help of Movember include:
- Clinician Scientist Awards to help progress prostate cancer research
- Men in Mind that helps doctors better understand their male patients and men's distress
- Assisting Fathers in Mourning to help fathers who are grieving the loss of a child
- GAP5-TIGER trial to find treatment for testicular cancer that keeps coming back
How Can I Help?
There are many ways you can help this Movember besides growing a mustache!
Some ideas to help include:
1. Encourage others to grow their mustache and share it on social media! The more people who participate and talk, the more awareness is spread on men's health!
2. Donate once through the Movember website, or set up a fundraiser on your own to help your choice of men's health charity. Some great charities to consider besides Movember are:
- Prostate Cancer Foundation
- Testicular Cancer Society
- The Face It Foundation
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
- Local charities to help men in your community, such as the Salvation Army
3. Team up with your school, work, or family and join one of Movember's fundraising challenges while competing against other teams! Some challenges you can join today include:
- Mo first-responder challenge
- Big mustache on campus challenge
- NHL hockey fights cancer challenge
- Mo LGBTQ Challenge
- Mo business club challenge
- Mo wispy lips challenge
4. Educate yourself on the signs of depression.
According to Suicide Awareness Voices of Education, or SAVE, some warning signs of someone who might be thinking of suicide include:
- Talking about wanting to die
- Looking for a way to end their life
- Talking about feeling hopeless
- Giving away items
- Talking about plans for suicide
- Increasing drug or alcohol use
- Worsening anxiety or depression
If you notice these signs, reach out for help. Share the suicide hotline number of 800-273-8255. Even if you don't know someone struggling with thoughts of suicide, sharing warning signs and resources for suicide prevention on social media can help save lives not just in Movember, but every month! And remember, if you feel this is an emergency and your loved one's life is at stake, dial 911 and get help right away!
Be the Change for Men Everywhere this Movember
It’s important that we work to create a world that understands the unique health needs faced by individuals and groups of individuals and prevents premature deaths. This Movember, you can help to raise awareness on men's health and save lives. Whether it's by growing out a mustache, encouraging others to, or by sharing the message of Movember, your voice counts!