A Moustache For a Cause
For several years now, the month of November has been known as "Movember" in order to raise awareness for men's health.
To date, the Movember Foundation has raised $650 million and is currently funding over 1,000 year -round programs in numerous countries.
The efforts made as a result of this annual campaign continue to improve and save the lives of men who are greatly affected by these issues each year.
Men (also known as Mo Bros) sign up online. Starting clean-shaven on November 1st, these men donate their face for 30 days by growing and grooming the best moustache they can. Mo Bros effectively become walking, talking billboards for men's health raising funds and awareness along the way. This year, official campaigns are being held in 21 countries across five continents.
Gender is one of the strongest and most consistent predictors of health and life expectancy. For men, this is not good news. On average, across the world, men die 6 years earlier than women.
The impact of prostate and testicular cancer on lives is substantial, with prostate cancer being the second most common cancer in men worldwide and the number of cases expected to almost double to 1.7 million cases by 2030.
Movember is not just about prostate cancer
Moreover, poor mental health affects men more than women: three quarters of suicides are by men. The World Health Organization estimates that 510,000 men die from suicide globally each year. That’s one every minute.
Researchers estimate that at least 6 million men suffer from depression each year in the United States. While this number is larger in women, men are almost four times more likely to suffer the ultimate consequence of their depression: suicide. Even though women attempt more suicides each year, men are more successful, in part because the methods employed by men are more lethal.
Sadly, the above statistics make one point clear: Depression in men is different from women. The question is why?
Looking back to those barriers introduced above, similarities are seen when it comes to depression. Men are simply not seeking proper treatment. The issue is confounded because men’s depressive symptoms are not being readily recognized by physicians and by men themselves. Men are more willing to acknowledge physical symptoms — fatigue, headaches, irritability, loss of interest in work, lowered sexual drive, and sleep disturbances — rather than emotional feelings of sadness, worthlessness, hopelessness, and excessive guilt. It is these physical symptoms, and other signs such as alcohol or drug dependence, that require greater recognition by men as possibly pointing toward an underlying illness of depression.
If you are among the millions of men being plagued by the symptoms described above, it is important to seek help promptly, and there are numerous resources readily available online. While the cause of your depression may not be immediately clear, on account of the numerous factors at potential blame — specific distressing life events, biochemical imbalances in the brain or certain psychological factors — what is clear is that you’re not alone and should never feel ashamed. Depression is common, and most cases are entirely treatable.