Movember – Let’s Talk About Men’s Health
5 minutes read
Gents, are you ready for Movember?
Movember, also dubbed as ‘No Shave November,’ is here, and it’s more than just an excuse to ditch shaving or show the world your mighty moustaches (and beards). It is for a cause.
What is Movember?
Movember is an annual event founded by The Movember Foundation for a noble cause.
Movember is about raising awareness and initiating conversations around too-often male-based taboo health topics, including prostate and testicular cancer and mental health. The organisation aims to do this by encouraging men to grow a moustache and raise funds during November. However, it encourages having this conversation all year round.
What is Movember for?
Movember is a month dedicated to men to assure them they’re not alone. Statistics show that men are dying on average five years earlier than women and for preventable reasons.
In light of these worrying figures, Movember is funding men’s health projects worldwide, focusing on the most significant health issues facing men. Last year, all those involved in the UK raised a whopping £14.1 million.
Talk and be there for your mate or male figures in your life
One of the goals of Movember is to build a community and a world that accepts men’s vulnerability and for all of us to offer a helping hand when needed.
1. Ditch toxic masculinity
Did you know that an alarming 60% of men don’t share how they feel with anyone?
Dr Richard Reid, psychologist, CEO of Pinnacle Wellbeing Services and member of The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), blames “The stereotype of the heroic male representation in popular culture.”
“Fearless, resourceful, stoic and usually facing adversity alone, these characters tell us a lot about what is considered ideal male behaviour within our society,” Dr Reid says. As a result, “Men often feel that they need to be self-reliant and provide for their loved ones, so it is not appropriate to express their emotions,” he adds.
Dr Craig Beach, psychiatrist and CEO of Open Mind Health, shares that “the overarching reason [for men not opening up] is ‘toxic masculinity’, which involves cultural pressures for boys and men to act tough and suppress emotions.”
Suppressing emotions and numbing the ‘pain’ through alcohol or drugs can lead to depression and anxiety and increase the risk of suicide.
While most experts would agree that there is little harm in using alcohol recreationally in a sensible controlled manner, this isn’t always the case when someone can’t control the compulsive urge for more drinking.
One man dies by suicide every minute of every day, with males accounting for 69% of all suicides. “Men are heavily invested in how self-sufficient they appear to the world, which means that they are less likely to seek mental health care,” says Dr Reid.
2. Strong support system matters
Contrary to men not opening up, reports show that eight out of 10 men find it helpful when someone asks if they’re having a tough time.
This reinforces the importance of a strong support system and harbours a safe space where judgement and expectations don’t exist.
“Check in on friends and family regularly, even if it is an informal chat over a beer or a coffee. Create a safe space for them to express themselves by not interrupting or judging. Also, try to reduce the stigma around mental health by not laughing or using derogatory language about others who may be suffering,” Dr Reid advises.
How to do Movember
Get involved, grow your moustache (and beard), and join the worldwide conversation during Movember. Here are four ways to do it:
1. Sign up and start raising funds!
If you’ve decided to grow facial hair for November, ask your friends, family, and colleagues to donate to your effort.
You can also choose to:
Move – Run or walk 60 km over the month or;
Host a Moment – Be your own entertainer. Raise funds by doing something you love: eating, playing, or singing. Invite your friends to join you in person or virtually and collect donations.
Sign up or download the Movember app here and join the Movember community in having fun and making a difference.
2. Grow a healthy moustache
To have a successful Movember experience, you need to ensure your moustache health is in tip-top condition.
Gail Warren, a nutritional therapist, has some healthy moustache growing tips.
“Load up more testosterone-boosting foods such as Brazil and macadamia nuts, dark leafy greens, fatty fish, legumes, eggs, grass-fed beef, oysters, oats, banana, and mushrooms into your diet.”
Getting active and engaging in HIIT and resistance training exercises can also boost testosterone levels,” she adds.
3. Invest in your moustache care routine
A well-groomed facial hair is soft, shapely, and clean. It doesn’t itch. Make sure to follow your skincare routine religiously by cleansing your face with a detoxing facial foam like ClarinsMen Active Face Wash, 20. This ensures your skin is purified and no food or debris is trapped in your mighty moustache.
Follow this by nourishing and conditioning it with the ClarinsMen Shave Ease Oil, £23.50. It has hardworking essential oils of rosemary, eucalyptus, and mint to maintain healthy facial hair growth until the shaving day.
Read our Facial Grooming 101 here.
4. Be a great role model
The best way to further a conversation is to be an active Movember participant.
“Ask boys and men in your life how they are doing emotionally to normalise and deepen such discussions. Men who do this are great role models for other men. So are parents, family members, and loved ones. If you see someone struggling, say something, offer to help, or listen. Mental health stigma is fuelled by shame, humiliation, and perceived weakness – we must continuously stigma bust these myths head on!” Dr Beach concludes.