By Melina Seeam (November 2020)
In 1999, a group of young men in Adelaide, South Australia coined the term “Movember” and the idea of growing moustaches – ‘Grow a Mo, Save a Bro’ for charity throughout the month of November annually. The movement has grown to become a worldwide phenomenon spreading all the way to South Africa, Europe and North America.
Raising the much need funds for men’s health can be organised through charities within communities, sport place, workplace, school and university. Movember also expands into events such as ‘Move for Movember’ and ‘Host a Mo-ment’. Taking part in the race spans over 60km for the 60 men lost to suicide each hour across the world. While hosting a moment encourages mates to get together around fancy dinner, sports match, party or a shave down where the group are to shave off facial hair to get the month started.
Founded by Mark Hawwa in 2012, The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride originating from Sydney is inspired from a Mad Men’s Don Draper astride a classic bike wearing his finest suit. With this theme, the purpose of the event was steered to combat negative stereotypes of men on motorcycles whilst connecting niche motorcycle communities together. Movember acts as the official charity partner of DGR. Both organisations share a common goal which is: giving more life to our fathers, brothers, sons and friends. On one day every year, over 700 cities around the world are abuzz with thousands of finely dressed gentlefolk upon their classic and vintage motorcycles, riding together in their support for men’s health. Due to COVID-19, the DGR 2020 will be themed as ‘Ride Solo Together’ which will be about dressing dapper, riding solo and connecting on social media with the community worldwide.
Many well-known brands have shown their support by developing campaigns for Movember including Mastercard, Nivea, Starbucks, and H&M.
Focusing on three causes, namely: mental health and suicide prevention, prostate cancer and testicular cancer, Movember invests heavily in research to deepen knowledge on the various issues that are involved.
Mental Health and Suicide Prevention
As the leading cause to suicide, mental health must be made a priority. A global collaboration led by Movember is to create a positive change in attitudes towards mental health and will continue to seek new funding opportunities that benefit men’s mental health promotion for healthier actions and behaviour.
Each year 1.3 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer. Treatment is promising, however, mental health and suicidal incentives may still occur afterwards. It is advisable to do a PSA Test which is a simple routine blood test used to determine the measurement of Prostate Specific Antigen concentration in the blood to test for prostate cancer.
In 95% of cases, diagnosis means established treatments and a good outcome. Testicular cancer is a highly treatable cancer and can be effectively treated and most often cured if diagnosed and treated early. Orchiectomy and chemotherapy can also be used to treat advanced testicular cancer.
Research has found that on average, men die 6 years earlier than women and for reasons that are largely preventable. For these reasons, Movember recommends:
1. Spending time with people who make you feel good
2. Talk, more – reaching out is crucial/being there for someone, listening and giving your time can be life-saving
3. Know the numbers – At 50, talk to your doctor about prostate cancer and whether it’s right for you to have a PSA test
4. Get to know what’s normal for your body. Give a check regularly and go to the doctor if something doesn’t feel right
5. Move, more – Add more activity to your day. Do more of what makes you feel good, i.e. take a walking meeting; park further away from the station; get off the bus a stop or two earlier; instead of the lift, take the stairs; cycle to work instead of driving