( ENSPIRE Man Code 101 ) Men’s Health Awareness Month Highlights Common Health Issues Men Face And Encourages Them To Monitor Their Well-Being
ENSPIRE Contributor: Naomi Stamps
November 1st is the start of Men’s Health Awareness Month, also known as Movember. This campaign encourages men to grow out their mustaches for the entire month to help raise awareness on prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health, and suicide prevention. It started in 2003 when two friends from Melbourne, Australia, jokingly discussed bringing the mustache trend back to fashion. Shortly afterward, they noticed a friend’s mother working to raise awareness on breast cancer. This inspired the two friends to take their idea further by highlighting mental health and prostate cancer.
The brains behind Men’s Health Awareness, Travis Garone and Luke Slattery started this movement with 30 men willing to help and take part. As the movement continued to grow, Justin Coghlan and Adam Garone joined the team to run the campaign and register their cause. In addition, they raised funds for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA), established the Movember Foundation, launched campaigns in different countries, and partnered with PCFA and Prostate Cancer Canada.
The movement has made much progress by creating campaigns in 21 countries and contributing to funding over 1,000 men’s health programs. However, since many men are hesitant about scheduling regular doctor’s visits and catching health issues early, Men’s Health Awareness wants to influence more men by educating them on both the problems men commonly face and the consequences of ignoring them. For example, according to the Movember website, men die five years earlier than women, which can be prevented if more men take necessary action.
Unfortunately, most men are reluctant to visit the doctor. While many blame their busy schedules, there’s a deeper reason for this. It’s often believed that men should be tough and self-sufficient in caring for themselves. Besides this, many fear diagnosis and are put off by invasive exams. While many of us believe specific health issues will resolve independently, this isn’t always the case, and early diagnosis is vital.
Mental health is also a rising issue among men. As previously mentioned, many men feel their role doesn’t allow room for seeking help. They often restrict themselves from expressing their emotions because it breaks “masculine rules.” As a result, Mentalhealth.org states men are three times more likely than women to commit suicide, along with turning to drugs and alcohol. To combat this, the Men’s Health Awareness campaign is dedicated to providing information on this topic and stressing that there’s nothing wrong with seeking help.
Health issues, both physical and mental, don’t discriminate against gender. Therefore, we need to check on the men in our lives and make sure they’re taking care of themselves. During Men’s Health Awareness and beyond, take time to educate yourself, and if you’re a male reading this, schedule doctor’s appointments when issues arise. While medical procedures are uncomfortable, they can be the element that helps you in the long run.
Learn more about Movember here.
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