Movember is an annual charity event that happens in November. People, particularly men, are encouraged to grow a moustache for the whole month of November and be sponsored to do so. The whole event is overseen by the Movember Foundation, a charity who launched in 2003 to raise money and awareness for men’s health issues.
Particular areas of focus are prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention. Since its creation the charity has raised more than £440m to help fund these health projects. Primarily aimed at men, those who take part are labelled as ‘Mo Bros’ by the charity. There are five official rules of Movember, they are as follows:
1. Once register on the Movember website each Mo Bro must begin the 1st of November with a clean shaven face.
2. For the entire month of November, each Mo Bro must grow and groom a moustache.
3. Don’t fake it. No beards, no goatees and no fake moustaches.
4. Use the power of the moustache to create conversation and raise funds for mens health
5. Each Mo Bro must conduct himself like a true gentleman.
What else can you do to take part?
The charity know that not everyone can grow facial hair which is why they have given examples of other ways people can get involved. The other main activity of Movember is to get moving and complete 60km of running/walking/cycling in November. This number signifies the 60 men lost to suicide each hour across the world.
What can be done to help?
Globally, men die on average 5 years before women and for reasons that are largely preventable. This means it doesn’t have to be this way, if awareness is spread more people can live happier, healthier and longer lives. There are five key things that men can know and do to take action.
1. Spend more time with people who make you feel good
Stay connected with those around you. Your friends are important and spending time with them is good for you and them. Make time to check in and catch up with those around you. Movember suggest using ALEC to navigate your conversations with friends.
A – Ask
L – Listen
E – Encourage Action
C – Check in After Conversations
2. Talk More
You don’t need to be an expert or have the solution to help someone but simply listening and giving your time can be life-saving. Remember, you can’t always fix someone’s problems but you can be there for them. You are not going to make things worse by asking someone how they are. Keep in mind that if you are anticipating on having a difficult conversation with someone it wont harm to prepare yourself and plan what you are going to say.
3. Know the numbers
When you reach 50, talk to your doctor about prostate cancer and whether they think it appropriate for you to has a PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen) test. If you are of African or Caribbean descent of have a father or brother with prostate cancer you have this conversation at 45.
4. Know your testicles
Learn what is normal for your testicles. Regularly check them and go to your GP is something doesn’t feel right. Testicular cancer is the most common amongst men yet 62% of men do not know the symptoms. If caught early, testicular cancer is highly treatable and highly curable – Movember aim to let all men experiencing testicular cancer that they are not alone. Men are recommended to check their testicles at least every month, to learn exactly how to do this we recommend you watch this video.
5. Move More
By adding more activity to your day you are improving your physical and mental health. Do more of what makes you feel good whether that be walking around the park in your lunch break or listening to a podcast as you go for a run. Below are suggestions of how you can move more:
- Swap sit down meetings for walking meetings
- Park further away from the station or your work office
- Get off the bus a stop of two earlier than you usually would
- Instead of the lift or esculator take the stairs
- Cycle to work instead of driving
For more information of how you can get involved with Movember and to learn more about men’s health visit the charity’s website here.