Forget November, it’s Movember all the way from here on in. We take a closer look at the issues our favourite hairy celebration month aims to tackle – and how you can get involved to help further the cause.
By now we’re all well aware of the hairsuite hijinks of Movember. It’s a time when males here and around the world put down their razors to raise awareness for men’s health.
Although light-hearted on the surface, the reasons behind Movember are anything but. Too many men – fathers, brothers, sons and mates – are dying unnecessarily before their time – 6 years earlier than women. And whether this is through a lack of general self-care, an inability to talk about their health issues or simply the outdated attitude that ‘real men just man up and get on with things’, it’s clear things need to improve.
But before we move on to how you can do your bit, let’s first tackle the causes Movember stands for exactly, and how badly men are affected by them.
Men’s health – the hard facts
Movember looks to make a difference across three main areas of men’s health:
• Mental health and suicide prevention
Across the world, one man dies by suicide every minute of every day, with males accounting for 75% of all suicides. That’s alarmingly high. Thus Movember looks at mental health through a male lens, focusing on prevention, early intervention and health promotion. The aim is to work towards a world where men take action themselves to be mentally healthier, and are supported by those around them, to reduce that suicide rate 25% by 2030.
• Prostate cancer
3,800 Kiwi men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year. Globally, that translates to 1.3 million diagnoses, with 9.9M living with or beyond prostate cancer right now. Worryingly, if left unchecked those rates will double over the next 15 years. Which is why Movember champions groundbreaking research into prostate cancer to halve those figures by 2030.
• Testicular cancer
Globally, testicular cancer is the most common cancer among men aged 15-39 years of age, and also the most common in that age bracket here in New Zealand. Thankfully, the odds of survival are high – over 95% – but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement. For some, long-term side effects from the treatment can mean serious quality of life issues. Movember aims both to improve survival rates even further, and tackle those side effects.
How to get involved
The chances are you already know someone directly or indirectly affected by these three male health issues. If you do, it follows you’ll want to do something about it. The good news is, male or female, there are plenty of ways you can jump on board to ‘help a bro with a mo’ this Movember:
1) Grow a mo
Okay, so this one is probably just for you males. If you want to change the face of men’s health, it makes sense to start by changing your own face. Just pick a style and go for it: trucker, handlebar, Zapata, Regency, whatever you can muster. Every moustache makes a difference, so don’t forget to raise funds with sponsorship either. And if you’re a female, why not join in the fun and get sponsored for wearing a fake moustache instead? There are plenty of stick-ons to be found in your local $2 shop. Just saying…
2) Move yourself
Do the yard yards for men’s health by committing to run or walk 60kms over the month – that’s a kilometre for every man we lose to suicide every hour across the world. You don’t have to be superfit or wear the latest threads either – just 2kms a day will do it, on your own or with a mate. You can even link up to a fitness tracker on your smartphone for proof, to ensure you satisfy your sponsors.
3) Host an event
If you’d rather do something as part of a group, why not host a special event and charge a small attendance fee. It could be anything – a quiz night, a beer tasting, watching the game together, a dinner party or a pie bake-off – doesn’t matter. As long as you have fun and get those donations rolling in for your bros.
4) Do your own thing
Want to go more maverick? Not a problem. Sort your own fundraising escapade, as small or grand as you like. Maybe you’d like to bike across New Zealand, tackle a nearby peak, smash out a set of circuits at the gym, or just climb a set of stairs 60 times. Every drop of sweat you shed will help to dial up the dollars, and raise funds for men’s health.
These are just some ideas to get you started. We’re sure you can think of more to ‘Go with the mo’ this Movember. And help prevent our blokes from dying too young in the future.
To find out more about Movember and how you can do your bit, visit nz.movember.com/