Can you believe we’re into November already? While November might be best known for firework displays (ok maybe not this year), it also marks the month of Movember.
If you’re not quite sure what this is, then read on to find out how this annual event helps to save lives.
What is Movember?
You might have seen (or will see) guys sporting some interesting ‘taches’ throughout November. While it could just be a personal style choice, chances are they’re actually raising money and awareness for a very important cause.
Movember was first founded in 2003 by a group of men from Australia, with the aim to change the face of men's health. Since it’s launch, the charity has raised a massive £800 million for its three main causes; mental health and suicide prevention, prostate cancer, and testicular cancer.
Unfortunately, there’s still quite a lot of stigma around men speaking out about their health - especially when it comes to mental health. Many men feel that they have to ‘man up’ and simply carry on by bottling their emotions - although this can have a serious impact on their wellbeing.
So what does the Movember Foundation do to combat this? Well, they work with experts across the globe to set up services and support, tailored for men. They fund research into cancer treatments and mental health support systems - including the Movember Rated Barber Scheme. This gives helpful resources to barbers who want to get their customers talking about mental health and other important subjects - usually, those that are all too often pushed aside. For some, having just one person to talk to can be life-changing.
How can I get involved?
Even if you can’t grow your own ‘tache this year, there’s plenty of ways to get involved with Movember. Movember events are held across the world, and you can even set up your own virtual fundraiser.
The Move for Movember fundraiser is a great way to keep fit, as well as raising funds and awareness for an important cause. The idea is to run 60km over the month (you don’t have to do it all in one go!).
You can also get involved by hosting your own Mo-ment. With the current restrictions, the Movember Foundation recommends a virtual Zoom quiz with prizes for friends and family who can donate to the cause.
Where can I find support?
There are times in life when we all need some additional support. Whether you need it for yourself, or someone you care about, here are some charities that offer help for various health concerns.
CALM - CALM offers an anonymous helpline and live chat for anyone struggling or in a crisis. They’re open from 5pm to midnight - 365 days a year.
Mind - Mind offers lots of information and support for anyone struggling with mental health concerns, as well as an anonymous helpline open from 9am - 6pm.
Shout 85258 - Not everyone feels comfortable talking about their problems on the phone. Shout 85258 provides a free text service for anyone struggling with their thoughts and feelings.
It can be difficult to initiate tough conversations, even with friends and family. This year, the Movember Foundation has also put together a ‘Conversations Tool’ to help men who aren’t quite sure how to approach emotional topics with their friends.
Men - it’s time to talk!
No one should have to suffer in silence. It’s difficult to see our friends and family at the moment, but that doesn’t mean the conversations have to stop. If you are wondering how to approach sensitive topics with your friends, then here is the ALEC model from the Movember Foundation:
A - Ask
First up, ask your friend how they’re doing. Maybe you haven’t heard from them in a while, or they’ve been sounding a bit shorter than usual. A simple text saying could make all the difference. You might need to ask twice before you get a real answer - so don’t give up on the first ‘I’m fine’.
L - Listen
If your friend does open up about their feelings, give them your full attention. Ask questions and be engaged - ignore your phone notifications for a while!
E - Encourage Action
Encourage your friend to take steps to improve their wellbeing. Is there anything that has helped him before? Can you help by joining him in a new hobby or activity?
C - Check In
Check in on your friend regularly, even if its a quick text. What might seem like a small gesture can really make a difference to someone’s day.
For this year’s Movember, we’re donating 10% of sales from our new men’s range Below the Belt to the Movember movement. Lets get men talking about their mental health and checking their physical health!