Why is Movember important to Men’s Mental Health?

Figures from Cancer Research UK reveal that one man dies from prostate cancer every 45 minutes meaning 12,000 men die from the disease each year. 65 men die from testicular cancer every year, while suicide is still the biggest killer of men under 50. As frightening as these statistics are, there is still some reluctance to talk about men's health, particularly mental health. Movember helps to raise awareness around these conditions, reducing the stigma attached to them and amplifying conversations around sensitive topics such as self examination and suicide. In this article we’ll explore some of the many ways Movember is important and how we can support this great initiative during Men’s Health Awareness month.

1. Movember invests in suicide prevention initiatives

Three quarters of the 5,583 suicides registered in England and Wales last year were men, demonstrating that there is still much to be done when it comes to tackling male suicide. Movember funds vital mental health and suicide prevention initiaves with a focus on early intervention, education and support provision.

2. Movember raises funds for mental health initiatives

Movember raises funds for causes and initiatives which improve the mental health and wellbeing of men across the globe. These initiatives tackle the stigma that still exists around mental health and invest in programmes supporting men, allowing them to talk openly in a safe environment. 

3. Movember supports cancer initiatives

Money raised for Movember helps to fund research into prostate and testicular cancer, while promoting education around self care, such as how to recognise the signs, symptoms and risk factors. The charity also strives to ensure men across the world have access to cancer services and support.

4. Movember connects leading cancer researchers 

Over the past 10 years, Movember has invested £24m in global prostate and testicular cancer projects, working with leading researchers around the world to identify key research collaboration opportunities. This includes research which contributed to olaparib, the world's first precision medicine drug for treating prostate cancer.

5. Movember changes the narrative around men’s mental health

Movember doesn’t shy away from difficult conversations around mental health and suicide. The charity has helped shift the perspective of the ‘be a man’ and ‘stiff upper lip’ narrative, normalising conversations around the topic.

6. Movember promotes awareness of testicular cancer and self examination

Early detection of testicular cancer is vital, which is why one of Movember’s main goals is to educate men on recognising the signs and symptoms through self examination. 

What is Movember?

Movember is an international charity event where men across the world grow moustaches during the month of November to raise money and awareness of mental and physical health issues such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, male suicide and men’s mental health. The campaign is run by the Movember Foundation and it takes place every November, starting on the 1st and running through to the 30th. This coincides with Men’s Health Awareness Month, with International Men's Day falling on 19th November.

How does Movember work?

Once the participant (known as a Mo Bro) has signed up for Movember, they should start the month with a clean shaven face. They should then spend the month growing and grooming their moustache while raising money and awareness through sponsorship.

When did Movember start?

Movember was the brainchild of two men in Australia in 2003 who came up with the term ‘Movember’ and the concept of growing moustaches to raise money and awareness for men’s health and prostate cancer. The concept was formalised a year later with the introduction of the Movember Foundation. In 2007 the campaign spread to the USA and since then Movember has gone on to become a global phenomenon.

How can women support Movember?

You don’t need to grow a moustache to support Movember - that can be left to the guys. Movember’s Make a Move campaign challenges both men and women to run or walk 60km over the course of a month. Alternatively, you can help raise awareness by supporting male friends, colleagues or loved ones with their moustache-growing by spreading the word, collecting donations or promoting through social media.

Can you donate to Movember after November?

You can make a one-off or monthly donation via Movember’s Donation page. Donations to Movember can be made at any time of the year, not just November. 

Further support and information

You can find out more about the great work Movember does by visiting their website.

For more information around testicular and prostate cancer, Cancer Research UK has lots of useful resources, including a cancer chatroom where you can talk to other people affected by cancer. Prostate Cancer UK also has a wealth of information including a Risk Checker tool where you can check your risk of prostate cancer in less than 30 seconds.

If you are concerned about your own mental health and wellbeing, or the mental health of a male friend, colleague or loved one, LiveWell Dorset is here to help. Our team of expert wellbeing advisors and coaches have helped thousands of people across Dorset through personalised support programmes tailored to each individual. Register or drop us a line at  LiveWell Dorset today. Calls are entirely confidential and you can talk about any issue, no matter how difficult.

Book a LiveWell Dorset Health MOT near you

During November, why not book yourself in for a LiveWell Dorset Health MOT near you?  The team is out and about this month, offering help and advice at some of our wonderful local libraries. No appointment necessary, just visit our Local Health MOTs page to find out when we’ll be in your area, then just pop along and take part. These sessions are open to both men and women of all ages across the county. Not able to attend in person? No problem! You can book an online health MOT or contact us to speak to one of our friendly coaches and advisors.


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