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The clock has turned from October to November. Which for health-conscious men means one thing – Movember. What is Movember? For the uninitiated, Movember is a leading global leading men’s health organization. Its mission is plain and simple – to stop men from dying too young.  They do this by focusing on men’s mental health and suicide prevention, prostate cancer and testicular cancer. Raising money to support and increase awareness, prevention and research in these three areas.

While the foundation works year-round, its signature event is the month of November. A month now dubbed “Movember”. Men are encouraged to change the face of men’s health by growing out their facial hair. Considered to be a fun disruptive way to bring attention to the cause. Now in its 13th year in the US, in 2020 the organization finds itself at a critical juncture.

Why This Year Is Different?

In 2020, health has been at the forefront of everyone’s mind. As Movember’s US Country Director Mark Hedstrom stated, “[i]f there has ever been a time to embrace Movember and shave down and then grow a Mo, it is now. It has been an incredibly difficult year, which makes this year’s campaign our most important, yet.”

Hedstrom further noted that “research conducted by Movember shows us the effects of the pandemic on men’s mental health is particularly concerning, and it is still far from over. Job losses, relationship stresses and social isolation are continuing to take a toll. In response, we’ve been working hard to fast-track digital mental health resources, to address the need.”

Where the Movember Money Goes

Movember uses donations to invest quickly in innovative projects across the world. Among the organizations that receive funding are, Making Connections for Mental Health and Wellbeing Among Men and Boys. A national initiative which aims to strengthen communities to support mental wellbeing. Movember and Prevention Institute have partnered with 13 community-based coalitions that work with men and boys of color, and military service members and veterans (and their families) in rural, urban and suburban communities across the US.

True North Prostate Cancer is also a recipient of funding. This is a project that helps men living with prostate cancer find better support and care, from diagnosis, throughout treatment, and beyond.  Finally, there is, True North Testicular Cancer. A digital resource that not only provides men with useful information and advice about testicular cancer, but also connects them with a supportive community of others who have experienced (or are experiencing) a similar journey.

How You Can Participate?

From big to small, there are a myriad of ways to participate in Movember. If you’re of the mindset of ‘go big or go home’, you can host a “Mo-ment” which can be gathering your crew virtually for a trivia night, gaming tourney or happy hour. With proceeds donated to the Movember Foundation. 

Given the challenges of such an event in today’s environment you can also go the individual route, by “Making a Move”.  This means walking or running 60 miles over the month. Why 60? It’s the number of men we lose to suicide each hour of the day. 

Finally, if resources are scarce – and these days everyone and anyone can appreciate that they are, simply growing your Mo’ will suffice. At the end of the day it helps bring attention to the cause. Which is perhaps the single most important thing you can do.

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