What is Movember? Movember is a month-long donation and awareness campaign that takes place every year in November that shines a spotlight on men’s physical and mental health issues through growing out your mustache. It’s time to grow that mustache for a good cause.
Since its inception in 2004, The Movember Foundation has been raising awareness of prostate and testicular cancer, depression, and suicide and has raised more than 4837 million and funded over 1,200 projects in more than 200 countries.
Why is Movember important?
Though Movember started out small, it’s grown considerably in size over the years, which means more awareness has been raised for men’s health issues.
More than six million men are affected by depression in America a year. Male depression often goes undiagnosed, with many men instead reporting bouts of irritability, fatigue, loss of interest at work and in hobbies rather than feelings of sadness or worthlessness.
Men’s mental health in America during COVID
While men have always struggled with identifying and addressing their mental health issues, COVID-19 has highlighted this significantly.
Healthline reports that a recent online survey from the Cleveland Clinic examining how the coronavirus outbreak has influenced men’s day-to-day health behaviors, as well as their overall mental and physical health found that 77% of respondents out of 1,000 adult males said their stress levels increased during the pandemic. Around 59% reported feelings of isolation. And 45% claimed their emotional and mental health has declined during the months since the beginning of the pandemic.
Poor self perception fuels anxiety
Christopher Senekki, who works in the contemporary men’s fashion industry knows all about poor self perception and how it contributes to depression, anxiety and isolation. For years he suffered from low self-esteem but has gained a newfound confidence through his work in men’s fashion. He uses his passion for fashion to break down the “alpha male” stereotype. While this is just one way to battle low self confidence, the greater point is that the way you see yourself greatly influences your self worth and happiness.
The key is being proactive
A big problem in figuring out an accurate number of how many men suffer from mental health issues is due to the lagging number of them who refuse to seek help. According to the Men’s Health Forum, most men will take time off work to get medical help for physical ailments but fewer than one in five will do the same for anxiety or feelings of low self-esteem or isolation. But from what’s been reported, the state of men’s mental health in America from those who have been proactive in getting the help they needed looks like this:
- More than three quarters who commit suicide are men (ONS)
- Men report lower satisfaction in life than women (ONS)
- 73% of adults who go missing are men (University of York)
- Men are almost three times more likely than women to become dependant on alcohol (HSCIC)
- Men are three times as likely to report frequent drug use than women (Information Centre)
You don’t have to grow a mustache to get involved in Movember. There are other ways to participate. Sign up and choose to run or walk for the cause, host a get-together (make it virtual during the pandemic), or create your own way to join the movement. Just helping to raise awareness of men’s health issues, and being proactive in your own mental and physical health is also a great way to join other men and women in the Movember celebration this month. Start by making an appointment with a therapist now.