Movember - The Return of the Moustache

By Eqra Jan (Get Well Clinic)

 

It's officially Movember!

The time has come to grow out those moustaches and raise money and awareness for men’s health issues. But before jumping into those health issues, let’s take a look back at how Movember came to be.

On a fine day in 2003, two good friends, Travis Garone and Luke Slattery, met up for a beer in Melbourne, Australia. Conversation turned to fashion trends and the two joked about bringing back the moustache. While convincing their friends to grow a moustache, they were inspired; a friend’s mother was fundraising for breast cancer and the idea came to grow moustaches in an effort to campaign for men’s health (Movember, 2021).

They came up with rules (that are still in place today), charged $10 per moustache grown, designed a logo, and spread the word around. Thirty men took up the challenge that first year - the first of the Mo Bros. The next year, Adam Garone and Justin Coghlan joined the two friends to turn this into a formal campaign. Garone registered a company and created a website for the cause while Coghlan ran the campaign. Together, the four of them researched men’s health issues, looked into partnerships, and from there on, Movember took off. Today, Movember campaigns take place in 21 countries. Over 1000 men’s health programs have been funded and there are millions of participants (Movember, 2021).

Over the years, Movember has expanded to focus on some key issues: testicular cancer, prostate cancer, and mental health. By focusing on these issues and contributing to research and health projects, Movember aims to reduce premature deaths in men by 25%, by the year 2030 (Movember, 2021).

Testicular and prostate cancer are the most common cancers in Canadian men (testicular cancer among younger men between the ages of 15-29 and prostate cancer more common among older men; Canadian Cancer Society, 2021). Globally, suicide kills one man every minute, on average. In Canada, schizophrenia hospitalization rates among young and middle-aged men are increasing, four of every five suicides are male, and 10% of men experience mental health disorder symptoms (Movember, 2021; Canadian Mental Health Association, 2021).

The issues Movember addresses are vital to men’s health and they have truly made a great impact on conversations and research all around the world. Start growing out your moustache to join the fight! And remember, visit your family doctor regularly.

References:

Canadian Cancer Society. (2021). Prostate cancer.

Canadian Cancer Society. (2021). Risk factors for testicular cancer.

Canadian Mental Health Association. (2021). Men’s Mental Health.

Movember. (2021). Movember.

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