If men’s health is a cause that you identify with passionately, then you probably have already head of the global movement Movember. Held annually in the month of November, the campaign aims at encouraging men from around the world to grow a moustache to raise funds in support of numerous issues related to men’s health.
What is Movember?
About 15 years ago, a group of men in Australia decided to grow a moustache to raise awareness about men’s health issues. The early beneficiary was the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (AU$40,000 was raised in 2004), but the movement aims at promoting men’s health in general. Now formerly known as the Movember Foundation, the campaign to raise awareness and money for men’s health issues has gone global and has funded over 1,200 projects around the world.
Why should you care?
Although Movember is about men’s health in general, the three issues they champion are some of the most prominent issues faced by men: prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health and suicide prevention. It is important to pay attention to these health issues. The Movember Foundation states that men are more likely to die six years faster than women, many of which are from causes that are preventable.
They call this a men’s health crisis, and it’s also affecting people from our part of the world. For example, where prostate cancer is concerned, studies show that the numbers of cases in Asia is rising. The World Health Organization (WHO) also notes that over half the global cases of suicide come from Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific regions. In many Asian countries, suicide is one of the leading causes of death.
Where does the money go to?
The Movember Foundation aims to fund what they call “breakthrough solutions” that results in improvements in the lives of those living with prostate and testicular cancer, and mental health issues that sometimes lead to suicide. They have partnered with organisations around the world including clinicians, researchers and experts on project to improve health outcomes, access care and support. They share their funding strategy on the website if you want more information.
How to participate?
If you want to join the movement, you can sign up for Movember at the Foundation’s website, where you can get all the necessary details. In Singapore, Movember has country specific campaigns for you to get involved in. You can set up your fundraising profile and share it among your family and friends. Start the month clean shaven, if you like, and then keep growing your moustache. When people are you about it, tell them about Movember and get them to visit your profile to make a contribution.
Is growing a moustache the only way to get involved?As part of the Movember campaign, the Foundation is also encouraging men (women can also participate!) to pledge to walking or running 60km in November to fundraise. There are no specific events organised for this; you hit the target in your own time. This means that you could put on your running shoes and head out to the road, or on the treadmill in the comfort of Fitness First clubs.