Movember: It’s Trendy, But Why Do We Do It?

Have you started growing you moustache for November yet?  What better time to start now after you shaved clean for that group drag costume of the Spice Girls!  So let's go ahead and do this Movember thing.  It'll be fun, right?

I think yes, it would be fun, checking out your face daily in the mirror to see how the hair is filling in, are there dead spots, and what color it is mainly.  It may be the longest ever you've looked in the mirror. 

Watch a Mo grow in 30 Days

 

 

So, yes, it looks fun, but what the heck is Movember?  It's about men's health right?

Let's look at some pics highlighting the Movember timeline from creation to last year. There's more over at movember.com/about/history , but these are the ones I thought were amazing.  Click on images for a larger view.

 

So from 30 guys and zero dollars raised in it's first year thirteen years ago to 5 million plus participants and $710 million dollars. Imagine how much more money could be raised if all people saying they were participating in Movember donated to the cause.  Wait, there's an actual reason and cause behind all of this?

By looking at the history of Movember at movember.com/about/history, we get to appreciate the grass roots story of a group of guys that turned a moustache challenge into a massive nonprofit to help fight Prostate cancer.  If you didn't click on the pics above, go do so now and see what amazing things Movember has funded in the past 13 years. 

Movember Awareness Saves Lives – US Awareness Story

 

 

Of course Prostate Cancer is not cured, but the fight is better off because of the movement, and now the Movember men are looking to expand from Prostate Cancer awareness and treatment to men's health in general.

Society gives men numerous bonuses—higher pay, larger governmental representation—but males take their own lives at a higher rate than women. In 2012, men constitute three quarters of suicides in the United Kingdom and 79 percent of suicides in the United States, according to the Guardian. Women also outlive men: In a blog for Harvard Medical School, associate professor Robert H. Shmerling reports that women make up 67 percent of 85-year-olds.

The non-profit Movember Foundation wants to better men's mental health. "We're losing the battle," says Movember co-founder Adam Garone. "Suicide rates are going up for men." Most people already know his organization for encouraging men to not shave in November to raise awareness for cancer. But in honor of World Suicide Prevention Day, they have launched a video and campaign to encourage men to improve their mental health.

They based their new programs on a 2015 Prevention Institute report called "Making Connections for Mental Health and Wellbeing Among Men and Boys in the US." The study found that the stresses and risks of American society may lead to male psychological issues; that boys and men of color are at greater risk for mental health problems, and military servicemen, veterans, and their families live through trauma at a disproportionate rate, alongside other underrecognized issues.

Movember has teamed with the Prevention Institute to create new programs that begin with identifying the causes. As everyone who has ever dated a man knows, men hate discussing their personal problems. Garone views the behavior as a huge factor in their poor health. "It's complex, but a big part of it is the way we're conditioned to talk," he says. "We just bottle stuff up and prefer to deal with it ourselves." Many men, he believes, fail to recognize they suffer from depression because they're poorly educated about the issues and symptoms. Movember argues that better mental health has multiple benefits for men: "We know that men's health leads to men leading longer and happier lives," Garone says.  – broadly.vice.com

 

Scanning some of the videos and press information over at Movember Media Room, we see that they are truly reaching beyond the prostate (that sounded a little odd) and are getting deeper into men's health issues (okay, I typed that).  Butt seriously, here is one video that got me pretty watered up.

Suicide Notes Talk Too Late

The Movember dedication is getting pretty serious and very honest.  It's also getting a little more LGBT.

 

Movember also wants to help LGBTQ men and men of color, who are at even higher risks for suicide. Surveys show that 41 percent of trans people have attempted suicide where only 4.6 percent of the US population has attempted suicide. "More gay and transgender men take their lives," Garone says. "One of the other tricks around sexual orientation is you have big transitional moments in your life where you're not sure which path you're going. That could be sexual orientation, it could be relationships, it could be job offers, it could be becoming a dad." Like straight men, LGBTQ men also must talk about their problems. – broadly.vice.com

 

Head over to broadly.vice.com for more of their great coverage of Movember and the drive to better men's health all around.  Also, check out all of the links at Movember.com.  

Have you done Movember in the past? 

Have you donated?

Are you going to?

Movember 2016: Stop Men Dying Too Young (:30 second)

 

h/t:  broadly.vice.com, Movember.com

What do you think?