Five days into the month of November and quite a few men are sporting some dodgy-looking facial hair. It suits some, but for many the words that spring to mind are “wispy”, “scruffy” and “have you lost your razor?”
The reason for things getting hairy is the global phenomenon that is Movember. It isn’t an irreverent opportunity for men to indulge their inner Tom Selleck (Link for anyone too young..: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CquMO3vJvo); rather a massive drive to change the face of men’s health one moustache at a time. Participants (“Mo Bros”) start the month clean-shaven, and then grow and groom their moustache all month long, for the 30 nights and hairy days of Movember, raising funds and much needed awareness of men’s health issues – specifically prostate cancer, testicular cancer and men’s mental health.
On average, men die at a significantly younger age than women – the average life expectancy for men in the UK at birth, and at age 65, is lower than for women, yet there is no biological reason for this. There are some hair-raising facts:
- Men have a 14% higher risk of developing cancer than women and a 37% higher risk of dying from it
- Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in men aged between 15-45 years with just over approximately 2200 new cases a year
- 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience some kind of mental health problem in the course of a year
- Suicide is the single most common cause of death in men under 35
- 25% of men in the UK were categorised as obese in 2011 compared to 13% of men in 1993
- In England more men than women have been diagnosed with diabetes. 6.3% of men reported that they had diabetes and 5.3 % of women
- A quarter of deaths of men under 34 can be attributed to alcohol
The reasons for the poor state of men’s health in the UK and around the world are numerous and complex, and include:
- lack of awareness and understanding of the health issues men face
- men not openly discussing their health and how they’re feeling
- reluctance to take action when men don’t feel physically or mentally well
- men engaging in risky activities that threaten their health
- stigmas surrounding mental health
In 2012, over 1.1million Mo Bros and Mo Sista’s pledged their allegiance to the moustache and raised over £92 million globally. In the UK, there were over 363,000 participants raising over £27 million
Anyone can get involved, growing a moustache or supporting friends that do. The University of Bristol has an online network set-up to bring staff and students together at: http://monetwork.co/Bristol
If you are growing face fuzz then sign up, and if you aren’t make sure you sponsor someone that is.
To find out more and register your involvement, go to: http://uk.movember.com/get-involved/
Most importantly, respect the moustaches you see appearing. They may not be pretty, they may be patchy, scraggly and itchy, but they are there for a very important reason. The Moustache is a ribbon for men’s health. Support your local Mo!
if you have any health concerns yourself, then please do give the Students’ Health Service a call and we will be happy to help!