Movember 2012 begins!
It’s that time of year again, when men grow out the hair on their upper lip to raise money and awareness for men’s health issues.
While prostate cancer has been the main focus in the past, this year the movement has included male mental health issues.
Movember director Pete Bombaci explained the change: “The numbers are staggering: Men are four times more likely to commit suicide than women but are underdiagnosed with depression and anxiety. That reflects that we’re not talking about it enough.”
This year, the funds raised will be divided with 60 per cent going to prostate cancer programs and the other 40 dedicated to male mental health initiatives. An advisory board has been put in place to help direct the mental health money to the best possible organizations.
Last year, in Canada there were 245,000 Movember participants – and we raised over $42 million – more than any other country. Organizers hope the push towards mental health awareness will be as successful as previous campaigns targeting prostate cancer.
Peter Coleridge, national CEO of the Canadian Mental Health Association commented to The Star on the often hidden issue of men’s mental health.
“Many men, maybe because of the macho male stereotype, believe they’re not susceptible to depression, but depression and other mental-health problems affect all segments of the population,” he said.
The fundraising event began in Australia in 2003, and anyone (male or female) can participate by signing up on the Movember website and seeking sponsors or participating in mustache-growing competitions. Men who participate must shave their mustache on November 1st, and grow it out for the entirety of the month.
Many celebrities have grown out their facial hair for the Movember cause, including the late Jack Layton, Justin Trudeau, Justin Beiber, Brody Jenner, Kevin Connolly, Justin Timberlake and Mark Hoppus.
And it’s not uncommon for entire sports teams to participate in the event. Watch this video of the Edmonton Oilers talking about the reactions they’ve had to their Movember stache and why they choose to grow their Mo:
To donate to Movember, go here.
Sources: Toronto Star, Telegraph, Movember.com