Wellness at Wilkes: Men’s health awareness

Natalie Stephens, Asst. Life, Arts & Entertainment Editor

No-shave November and Movember have officially begun and will continue until the end of November. Men throughout the world grow their facial hair throughout the month, whether it be a full beard or a mustache to support various men’s health issues.

Any person can be involved with spreading awareness of men’s health issues this month by supporting and encouraging the men in their life that are participating as well as donating to the various causes. The Movember Foundation refers to these women that get involved in this movement are called, ‘Mo sistas’ and the men are called ‘Mo Bros’.

The change of appearance brings attention to various cancers that affect men, such as prostate cancer and testicular cancer. This awareness month also spotlights mental health and suicide prevention in men.

There is one major organization dedicated to raising awareness for these issues called Movember Foundation. This foundation encourages men to grow out their beards or mustaches this month, regardless of what they look like.

Simply growing facial hair out during the month of November may encourage others to look into why everybody is growing a moustache or beard, leading to increased curiosity about the campaign.

The Movember Foundation stresses the importance of men taking time to open up and have conversations about their physical and mental health.

Although there are many people that do support the growing of facial hair for the month of November to raise awareness for men’s mental health, there are some that think there may be other ways to raise awareness.

For one, some people may feel pressure to grow facial hair and then marginalizes those men that either cannot or will not participate. Even if they talk about men’s health issues or donate some men may still feel excluded because they are unable to show their support through facial hair.

There are also men that grow a beard or mustache throughout the year, not just the month of November that may not support the Movember event entirely.

Through the Movember Foundation any person can donate directly or people may create their own donation boards for friends and family. The foundation also has the Make Your Move challenge where people can commit to running or walking 60 miles in the month of November.

This challenge was created because according to the Movember Foundation website, one man commits suicide every minute.

In 2017 $67.5 million dollars was raised to help support various mens health issues and awareness. Many men don’t feel like they can talk to someone about their health issues because they may not want to burden them but that may be the reason why 75 percent of all suicides in 2017 were male. This alarming statistic is why more attention needs to be brought to men’s health issues.

The simplicity of growing a mustache or beard to raise awareness makes it easy for many men to participate. Even if a person cannot donate to the cause just having a conversation about the issues can be very impactful and significant.