Movember: Raising Awareness of Men’s Mental Health

Every year throughout the month of November men across the world set the razors and the shavers aside in an effort to grow a stylish moustache with a purpose. The moustache might now be a growing trendy fashion statement, but the message behind Movember has always been critically important.

The Movember campaign stands for raising awareness of men’s health, supporting those suffering from ill mental health and campaigning for better care and services. The cause also highlights other illnesses afflicting men that often go unchecked such as prostate cancer and testicular cancer. The Movember initiatives shine an important light on these issues and also encourage fundraising and sponsorship opportunities for the cause. This generates much needed funds to support those affected by these conditions.

This year the campaign comes with a more pertinent message than ever as we come to the end of a turbulent year that has brought strain and uncertainty to many. The global Coronavirus pandemic has certainly been testing and the unfortunate reality is that there is still no clear way through for many. Thousands of men and women take part in a variety of activities annually and in the midst of this particularly testing year, characterized by social distancing and the unprecedented health risks, it is more important than ever to remain aware of both our physical and mental wellbeing.

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As well as growing unique moustache masterpieces, which will certainly prove easier for some men than others, there are a selection of ideas and online initiatives to get involved including ‘Move for Movember’ encouraging people to run 60km. The number 60 has an important and strong message as this number of miles represents “the 60 men lost to suicide each hour across the world.”

As we continue to live in a socially distanced manner, the online world enables us all to ‘Host a Mo-Ment’ whatever that may be. This encourages us to continue to be socially active with one another, whilst navigating the wave of second lockdowns, and reach out to others that may find this period a struggle. Amongst the turmoil, why not come together to have a good time for a good cause!

This year ‘Mo In Your Own Way’ leaves room for all to find new creative and inspirational ways to get involved with Movember and an array of online resources are available to help those getting involved. Also online you can read many stories of men sharing their experiences with their physical and mental wellbeing or listen to the podcast which has had guests such as Ore Oduba, Jack Fincham and Henry Holland. This includes a new app which allows people to share their moustache progress, as well as have fun with tools to customize digital beardy looks.

There are also competitions that you and your family, friends and work colleagues can take part in. In a time where we can’t be physically together, it provides a valuable way to interact and raise awareness of men’s health issues.

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A whole host of celebrities are also on board, documenting their journey and are showing their support. Famous faces include singer of One Direction Liam Payne, UK athlete Sir Mo Farah and Hunger Games actor Sam Claflin, who have already posed with their newly formed and stylishly groomed mustaches in a set of portraits taken by photographer Greg Williams.

There is also a shot with a difference and that is set to get everyone talking. Peter Crouch has been showing his support for the campaign alongside his wife Abbey Clancy. Both took part in the photoshoot, where Abbey joined her husband and donned a fake moustache herself. This month may be aimed at raising awareness of men’s health, but women are encouraged to get involved, raise money and awareness, all in support of their friends and loved ones.

The Movember charity has been overwhelmed by the support this year with Movember CEO Michelle Terry, commenting “It’s great to see so many well-known faces put on a united front in support of men’s health, inspiring men and women to get involved and support our fundraising drive this Movember.”

This year has firmly demonstrated the importance of collective action and coming together to show support for family and friends on both a small, community scale, but also in global initiatives such as Movember. We may all be living different lifestyles, but we will all have experienced struggles this year and we should be encouraging everyone to seek support and confide in others when they need it. You may think that someone is coping well, but things are not always as they seem. The message of Movember may be shining brightly during the month of November, but we should also be mindful of highlighting this important topic throughout the year, particularly as we continue to navigate the effects of the pandemic in the months that lie ahead.

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