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Movember – A Moustachioed Month for Male Health

November, the eleventh month; the last month of Autumn; the month of Guy Fawkes, Thanksgiving and, most importantly, Movember.

First coined in 1999 by a group of men in Australia, Movember refers to the practice of growing moustaches (‘Mo-’) throughout November (‘-vember) to raise money for charity. However, the money doesn’t go to any random cause. Instead, it is donated to organisations such as the Movember Foundation to stop our grandfathers, friends, brothers, partners and dads ‘dying too young’.

“A ‘don’t complain and carry on’ attitude seems to be circulated among most men when a potential health complaint arises”

Important male health issues often seem to be left out of the conversation in society. A ‘don’t complain and carry on’ attitude seems to be circulated among most men when a potential health complaint arises. This dangerous attitude is leading to life loss that could be prevented by proper awareness and support for the big health issues that men are facing every day. These health issues range from physical illnesses such as prostate cancer and testicular cancer to mental health issues and suicide prevention.

Here are some facts and figures to show why Movember is so crucial:

1) 11,631 men died of prostate cancer in 2016 alone (source)

2) In the United Kingdom, 75% of suicides are men, and globally a man dies of suicide every minute (source)

3) 70% of men say their friends can rely on them for support, however, just 48% say that they rely on their friends (source)

4) In the UK testicular cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in young men (source)

5) Men die an average of six years younger than women, for reasons that are mostly preventable (source)

“the charity has gone global, partnered with various companies and ambassadors and raised $174 million”

But, where does the humble moustache fit in? After the term was coined in 1999, where ‘whiskers’ were originally grown for animal charities, an unrelated group in Melbourne, Victoria created the first incarnation of the modern Movember. The group organised an event where 30 men grew moustaches for 30 says to raise awareness for prostate cancer and male depression. This group would later become the Movember Foundation. Since then the charity has gone global, partnered with various companies and ambassadors and raised $174 million.

“Girls, talk to boys about health issues and listen…keep the conversation going this, next and every Movember”

So, boys, say something if something’s not okay – you have a right to be alright. Girls, talk to boys about health issues and listen– they’re human too. And everyone, grow out that facial hair, sponsor a moustache, and keep the conversation going this, next and every Movember.

Read more about the Movember Foundation and please donate here – https://uk.movember.com/?home.

Francesca Hadland

Video and images courtesy of the Movember Foundation Facebook.

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