For the last decade, my dad and I have grown moustaches in November. People often assume this is because we have a personal connection (beyond being men, of course) to the cause. A decade of looking stupid for charity (and raising thousands of pounds, thanks to people like you) perhaps deserves explanation. So here it is.
Why? Because too many men die too young.
When we started out, it was a movement looking to emulate the success of campaigns like the ’Race for Life’ which did so much good for raising awareness and money for female cancer charities. It looked to raise money and awareness for charities hoping to save as many men from male cancers as possible. Hopefully, in a small way, we have helped. But the statistics are still shocking. So we do Movember every year:
- Because every hour one man dies from prostate cancer in the UK.
- Because testicular cancer is the most common cancer in men aged 25-49 years.
More recently, the remit has encompassed men’s health more generally. In particular, it has looked at mental health as a major problem for men. Talking about problems, with friends, or with medical professionals, remains a huge problem for men. I am hardly innocent in this - I have had several operations because I brushed off injuries so I didn't bother my doctor.
But when I suffered from anxiety and panic attacks, I did go to my doctor. Many men don’t, and won’t. And it the statistics for mental health in men that shock me the most. So we do Movember every year:
- Because 3 out of 4 deaths by suicide are men.
- Because on average 13 men each day take their life through suicide in the UK.
This can’t go on. Being told, or telling ourselves, to ‘man up’ is not working. So, if you don't want to, or can’t afford to, donate, please take 5 minutes to read up on men’s health here: https://uk.movember.com/mens-health/general
If you are a man, know how to check yourself, don't be scared to go to the doctor if you think something is wrong. Talk to someone if you are feeling low, a friend, a family member, a doctor.
Keep tabs on your friends, those you work with, your neighbours. Offer to talk to people if you know they are going through a tough time. And, please, never say ‘man up.’
Thanks for reading.