I’m going to get up onto my soapbox and rant a little.
Friends. Movember is drawing to a close, and I thank you all for your support, financial and otherwise. And for those of you mocking me for growing such a glorious Mo, well, you’re just jealous.
But there’s more to Movember than just growing a Mo.
There’s the issue of Men’s Health, which sometimes gets lost in the messaging. While women are very proactive and supportive of women’s health issues, men have a level of indifference that is concerning and don’t seek out help (see references below). One of the major reasons Bros don’t seek out help is due to embarrassment. Why? Because we’re afraid of being made fun of? Because we figure if we ignore it it’ll “just go away”? Because we don’t want to appear “weak”? The consequences of not seeking help could include cancer, depression or worse. What’s weak about tackling those issues? Those are incredibly tough things to deal with – if anything they require more strength. If you’re a Mo Bro, get your annual physical. Get checked out. Go see the doctor if you need it – don’t wait. Talk to a healthcare professional if you need it, and make an informed decision on your future. Many health issues are curable and treatable if caught early – the longer you wait the worse they can get. For all the Mo Sistas and Mo Bros out there, support your Bros. Mo Bros are likely to put off seeing the doctor and ignore health concerns, but with support this attitude can shift.
We’ve all had a good laugh over this month, and it’s a fun month for sure. But let’s not forget the serious health consequences that this month highlights.
For more information, check the Movember page on Men’s Health Issues.
Thanks to Michelle D for the idea for this post and Vanessa V for feedback.
Tudiver F, Talbot Y. Why don’t men seek help? Family physicians’ perspectives on help-seeking behavior in men. J Fam Pract. 1999 Jan;48(1):47-52.
Winerman, L. Helping men to help themselves. Available online.
Vogel, DL, Heimerdinger-Edwards, SR, Hammer, JH, Hubbard, A. “Boys don’t cry”: Examination of the links between endorsement of masculine norms, self-stigma, and help-seeking attitudes for men from diverse backgrounds. Journal of Counseling Psychology, Vol 58(3), Jul 2011, 368-382
December 7, 2012 at 9:31 am
I’m so pleased to be seeing more and more posts such as this one – discussing the actual focus of Movember. I think the campaign is nothing short of brilliant. I mean, just last year they had almost 900,000 men (and women) grow a mustache raising a sweet load of money. But interestingly, many people still don’t understand what it’s about. Case and point – I was recently at a town hall for mental health and one attendee stated that we need a campaign for mental health awareness, one that is as successful as Movember is to prostate cancer. The fact that someone within the mental health community is not aware of all that this cause supports is concerning. I think you’re right Atif – we need to focus more on the issues the campaign is supporting as opposed to the hilarity of all mustaches great and small (even though I do get a serious kick out of them). Thanks for this post!
December 7, 2012 at 9:45 am
Thanks for your comment. I definitely think Movember is maturing as a charity (this is its third? fourth? year), and with that will come a renewed sense of focus. I was glad to see their emphasis on tools and practices that can help on their website, and I hope next year they further that cause. There’s a lot of potential here, and I really hope they achieve it.