Courtney Dickson, Wellness Columnist Ω
Welcome to Movember! While some shudder at the thought of the imminent batch of awkward facial hair, we need to remember what it stands for.
I’m apparently out of the loop on this, and maybe that’s because I’ve never been directly involved in Movember. This month isn’t just meant to raise awareness for prostate and testicular cancers. Men’s health, as a whole, benefits from this time of year – whether that means mental, emotional or physical well-being. The Movember Canada website does, however, say their primary targets are male cancers and men’s mental health. Money goes into research, but also into prevention and education.
According to Movember Canada, one out of seven men will develop prostate cancer. That said, it’s also the most commonly reported type of cancer in men of all ages. For men between the ages of 15 and 29 the most common form of cancer is testicular cancer. The good news is that there is a 96 per cent long-term survival rate, because treatments for testicular cancer are so effective.
But effective treatments or not, a cancer diagnosis can weigh heavily on some people and that’s why mental health is a concern, too.
A really staggering number is this: 80 per cent of suicides among young people are committed by males. That is huge. With all the discussion about women and the distress caused by trying to look a certain way, it’s probably pretty shocking to hear males suffer from such severe mental health issues they are more likely to take their own life.
Depression is different in men and women. While many women experience sadness and anxiety, males tend to become more irritable and mad, which can sometimes result in abuse of loved ones. As I’m sure many of us know, some men don’t want to discuss their problems, whereas women generally have less trouble confiding in others. This is why men dealing with depression often have a very difficult time.
Movember started in 2003 in Australia. It has since caught on globally and has become an internationally recognized campaign. New Zealand joined their Aussie neighbours in 2006 and Canada joined the cause in 2007 along with several other countries. That year, Movember raised $20.5 million. Last year, the movement raised more than $146 million. Charitable organizations often try to beat their previous goals, so if you have some spare cash, maybe you could help them out.
If you don’t have someone in mind whose majestic moustache you’d like to donate to, our editor in chief is raising money, and you can find his page here: http://ca.movember.com/mospace/3515405
Happy Movember, everyone!