As you walk around the streets of Sydney right now (and many other parts of the world I am sure) you may feel like you have stepped into a “Back to the 70’s Party” without even knowing you were invited. Men everywhere are embracing the Face Fungus, displaying fine examples of Lip Carpet and bringing back to ‘tache! Yes it is that time again, Movember is here.
Since the Movember Foundation was launched in Melbourne 2004 this has become a global event and now extends into the UK, US, New Zealand, South Africa, Ireland and many other countries around the world. I have been a participant a number of times and apart from the pure joy of publicly being able to display a fine moustache I am very proud to be part of an event that in 2001 raised over $120 million from more than 850,000 men and women participants around the world.
So what is Movember all about? In Australia all funds raised go towards fighting the two biggest health issues men face – prostate cancer and male mental health. There are so many reasons for this including:
- It is expected 1 in 2 Australian men will be diagnosed with cancer by the age of 85
- 1 in 9 men in Australia will develop prostate cancer in their lifetime
- Around one in six Australian men suffer from depression at any given time.
- Four times more young men than young women commit suicide.
- In the past 30 years, the suicide rate for males aged 15 to 24 years tripled
Frankly as men we are hopeless when it comes to our own health. We don’t go to the doctor, we don’t ask for help, we don’t even admit we feel sick (unless we have Man Flu in which case we are dying and need to be waited on hand and foot) and we are usually totally unaware of any of the risk factors or health issues we will face.
Movember may have a funny side (seriously take a look at my photo below) but the underlying issue is serious so if you see someone with a loud and proud Mo in the month of November give them a smile as they are quite likely doing it for a good cause. If you want to learn more you can go to the Movember Home Page or if you would like to donate here is my Mo Space