Supporting men’s health

by Andy Bryenton

Across New Zealand and around the planet, the month of November has a new name, Movember, to raise awareness that fathers, partners, brothers and friends face a health crisis that isn’t being talked about.

The Movember charity movement says ‘men are dying too young. We can’t afford to stay silent — that’s why we’re taking action. We’re the only charity tackling men’s health on a global scale, year-round.’ The most visible sign of participation in Movember is simply (for men anyway) growing a moustache as a walking talking billboard supporting the charity addressing some of the biggest health issues faced by men: prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health and suicide prevention.

The movement is independent of government funding, so can challenge the status quo and invest quicker in what works. In 13 years Movember has funded more than 1,200 men’s health projects around the world, and it has a target date 2030 to reduce the number of men dying prematurely by 25%.

While there’s a passive investment in growing a moustache, supporting men’s health can also be active with what’s known as the MOVE challenge — a 30-day physical fitness challenge by running or walking 60 kilometres during the month. Hit it fast. Take it slow. Run solo. Join a team. Go outside.

Call on friends and family to back you with a donation.

Set yourself a challenge that tests your limits, whether it’s a mountain to climb, learning to swim or running a race in costume.

Movember works with global men’s health partners and academic and clinical institutions to accelerate improvements to some of the biggest health issues faced by men and funding more than 1,000 projects. Since the movement was founded in 2003, Movember has won support from more than five million people.

Any form of activity can be a fundraiser in Movember. Make sure friends, family and colleagues know about the challenge you’ve set yourself. You’ll be surprised by who’ll chip in with a donation. Then keep the updates coming — as you progress towards your goal, you’ll inspire more people.

Don’t run the risk of getting worn out mid-month. Keep things moving with a little creativity. Get a team together to motivate each other. Plan a workplace training session — a great chance to ask for donations. Let your supporters set you bonus challenges in return for cash. Organise an event to get more people moving. A good time is a great Movember motivation.