What you may have thought started as a one-off fundraiser, Movember is now about to enter its 13th year. Each year Movember aims to raise money and awareness of conditions which affect thousands of men in the UK and worldwide. With all the attention that goes into the face of the campaign, it can be easy to forget why Movember exists and what it does. More than just men and moustaches, there is a lot more to Movember than simply growing ridiculous facial hair for a month.
Movember was initially started in 2003, by friends Travis Garone and Luke Slattery who sought a way to bring the moustache back in fashion, by way of growing onw and not shaving throughout November. Whilst the first year did not have a fundraising angle, by the second year, the Movember Foundation was established and started to gain momentum across Australia, before spreading globally by 2007.
By the end of last year’s campaign, £443 million had been raised for Movember, which helped to fund more than 1,200 men’s health projects worldwide. More than 5 million ‘Mo Bros’ and ‘Mo Sistas’ have taken part in the campaign, which looks to get bigger again this Movember.
Improving men’s health
The key aim of Movember is to tackle the growing concern around men’s health issues. As stated on their website, ‘men experience worse longer-term health than women and die on average six years earlier’, largely due to conditions such as prostate and testicular cancer, whilst 75% of suicides are men. It’s hoped that through efforts to engage and educate men about health and mental health issues, the rate of men dying prematurely can be reduced by 25% by 2030.
Movember funds a range of projects across 21 countries and aims to adhere to the values they established alongside the Foundation.
Men’s health in the UK
In the UK, it’s estimated that 40% of male deaths are premature. Men are statistically shown to be less likely to see a doctor until their condition becomes serious, which could mean that conditions have progressed to a critical point. One in five men hasn’t seen a doctor in three years, whilst an estimated 2% of men haven’t seen one at all. According to the Mental Health Foundation, there were 6,233 suicides recorded in the UK, and of these, 78% were male. Lifestyle differences also have an effect on health, with men more likely to drink above the recommended levels of alcohol, smoke and eat poorly.
Through funding different programmes and helping to raise awareness of improving men’s health, it’s hoped that Movember can make a difference to these statistics.
Getting involved in Movember
There are a number of ways to get involved in Movember – the most common being to raise money by growing a moustache throughout the 30 days of Movember and sharing progress on social media. You can ask friends, colleagues and classmates to sponsor you, as well as sponsor others who are undertaking the challenge. Meanwhile women can also get involved by ‘Moving for Movember’ by doing something physical during the month, whether it’s running a race, doing some exercise in fancy dress or other challenge. Fundraising events are also a popular way to raise money, and volunteering is another way to get involved with the cause.
Men’s health resources
If you are concerned about your health, it’s important that you visit your GP, who will be able to rule out serious conditions and put your mind at ease. The NHS has a great range of resources for men, as well as targeted content for men aged 18-39 and 40-60. Our out of hours service is also available should you need assistance outside of regular working hours and during the weekend.
Taking charge of your health and practicing self-care is important, and you should always seek help if you’re concerned about your mental health or that of someone else. Do your bit by taking part in Movember and raise some money for some great causes to improve men’s health, both in the UK and worldwide.