Movember is here – the annual campaign where men from around the world grow a moustache to help raise awareness for men’s health.
The global campaign is raising funds and awareness around a number of men’s health issues including prostate and testicular cancer, as well as poor mental health and physical inactivity. From husbands to sons, brothers and friends, Movember is a great opportunity to help make sure the men in our lives are fighting fit.
A month of men’s health
Inaugurated in 2003, the Movember Foundation launched Movember as an initiative to open a broader dialogue about men’s health issues. When it comes to their health, too many men don’t talk, don’t take action and die too young. By raising awareness about common men’s health issues and raising money for leading charities, the Movember Foundation hopes to help break down stigmas and encourage men to take their health seriously.
Men all around us sporting moustaches over the month of November helps promote fresh conversation about the health issues that men face. This year, the campaign is centred around three major themes:
- Prostate and testicular cancer – The campaign raises funds for services that contribute to researching and curing cancer, as well as improving the lives of those living with it.
- Physical inactivity – Physical inactivity is taking a major toll on our health. The campaign encourages men to exercise more and promotes projects that encourage men to get physically active.
- Poor mental health – The campaign aims to reduce the stigma associated with men’s mental health problems so men feel confident in talking about their experiences and seeking help when necessary.
Traditional ideas around gender mean that men often ignore symptoms when they are feeling unwell or try to cope on their own when they need help. Statistics support this: average life expectancy for men in the UK is nearly four years less than women, and a wide variety of factors are at play.
Men have a 14% higher risk of developing cancer than women, and a 37% higher risk of dying from it. Prostate and testicular cancer are the two most common cancers in men. Suicide is the leading cause of death for men aged 20-49 in England and Wales, and the numbers are growing amongst older men. Of all suicides, 78% are men.
Movember is a great chance to bring some of these men’s health issues into the open and put to bed any stigma that may make men feel less than for taking an active role in their health.
Ways to get involved
There are plenty of ways to get involved this year, and from the Movember website you can find plenty of information and resources to join an event near you or host your own. Two of the biggest campaigns this month are:
- Moustaches in Movember: Grow and groom your moustache for 30 days in November. Ask friends and colleagues to donate to your cause and use your new facial hair as a talking point to bring up men’s health.
- Move in Movember: Sign up for the Move challenge and pledge to get physical for 30 consecutive days during November. Big or small, any type of physical activity counts.
Will you be participating in Movember this year?