Movember 2018


Talking Saves Lives

The key to a perfect mustache is to wash it with the salt waters of the beaches of Arisaig and brush it daily with a comb forged of a thousand X-Rings. At least that is what Sean Ryan, the General Manager of the Student’s Union, said in a promotional video, “Beginners Tips for ‘Stache Growth,” produced by the StFX Movember Foundation. It also helps when you’ve “earned the trust of a man’s best friend,” Ryan says while he cuddles up to a precious puppy.

The purpose of Movember month is publicized as “stopping men from dying to young,” and the Movember Foundation’s efforts have been thriving year over year. While participation has grown immensely, as has the number of health issues being addressed and tackled by the foundation. Some of the most considerable health issues faced by men daily include prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health and suicide prevention.

The Movember Foundation’s online page is an informative hub full of information for all. There you will learn that prostate cancer has a 98% survival rate if detected early enough, but 26% survival rate if detected late. Their advice? Get checked when you’re 50 years old, or 45 if you have familial history of prostate cancer.

One will also learn from the Movember website that in Canada, testicular cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in young men. From there you can learn statistics, how to do monthly checks, and further facts about testicular cancer. For example, side effects, treatment options, and even testimonials from men who have gone through the situation themselves.

Two of the final but extremely important issues that Movember addresses is men’s mental health and suicide prevention. Globally, the rate of suicide is alarmingly high, especially among men. 75% of suicides in Canada are men. Globally, every minute a man dies by suicide. Too many men are ‘toughing it out,’ keeping their feelings to themselves and struggling in silence. The Movember Foundation is striving to reduce the rate of male suicide by 25% by 2030. Thankfully, it has thousands of participants to help the foundation get there.

At this very moment, the Movember Foundation is the sole charity undertaking men’s health internationally, and although not all of us can grow the ideal mustache like Sean Ryan’s, there are certainly more opportunities to raise money for the great cause. If growing your mo’ isn’t an option, there is a physical challenge being proposed and taken on as an alternative.

Michelle Roussy, second year Bachelor of Education student, is taking part in the Move Challenge and has committed to running a 150km goal by the end of the month. This is an excellent way to bring more mindfulness to men’s health because while women can evidently not partake in growing a mustache, they can definitely show their support. “Movember is an amazing awareness month that brings attention to men’s health issues. Besides who doesn’t like a man with a great mustache?!” says Roussy.

Movember is not only important for men and men’s health, it is also important for men to pay attention to the cause. Everyone in Canada somehow directly or indirectly knows somebody affected by prostate or testicular cancer. 

It is important to encourage our loved ones and ourselves to take care, and check on our health every so often. Mental health requires care at all times. It is important to speak out, have conversations and be there for one another. In a video created by the Movember Foundation, a man courageously says, “to be a man of less anxiety, I had to become a man of more words.”