Friday, 2 November 2012

Movember is back and with a new focus

Movember is back and with a new focus

Published on Thursday November 01, 2012

Justin Trudeau last Movember

Sean Kilpatrick/THE CANADIAN PRESS Liberal MP Justin Trudeau was a member of last year's Parliament Hill Movember movement.
Nancy J. White
Life Reporter
Men, get ready, get set, and grow that hairy upper lip.

It’s Movember, the month of sprouting moustaches to raise funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and — new this year — mental health.

With Movember’s growth in Canada, explains director Pete Bombaci, the campaign researched health gaps and found that male mental health was a concern that needed addressing.

“The numbers are staggering: Men are four times more likely to commit suicide than women but are underdiagnosed with depression and anxiety,” says Bombaci. “That reflects that we’re not talking about it enough.”

The funds raised this year will be divided, with 60 per cent going to prostate-cancer programs and 40 per cent to male mental-health initiatives. An advisory network will investigate how to best direct the mental-health money.

Last year, Canada had 245,000 Movember participants and raised $42 million — more than any other country.

Just as Movember successfully brought a voice to prostate cancer, it will do the same for men’s mental health issues, often called a “silent crisis,” says Peter Coleridge, national CEO of the Canadian Mental Health Association.

“Many men, maybe because of the macho male stereotype, believe they’re not susceptible to depression,” says Coleridge. “But depression and other mental-health problems affect all segments of the population.”

Movember, started in Australia in 2003, aims to get men, known as “Mo Bros,” to start Nov. 1 with a clean upper lip and grow a moustache — be it hairy or humble — during the month.

They can raise funds by seeking sponsors or entering competitions, and their hirsute efforts spark awareness and conversations about male health. All of this is with the support of women, “Mo Sistas.”

“It’s a subtle approach,” says Bombaci. “We’ve seen how little men respond to the direct, ’Go to the doctor.’ ”

Although any type of moustache is fine, the movement has sprouted a style guide to help.

The most popular, says Bombaci, is “The Trucker,” a full brush on top with the ends plummeting down to the chin.

For more information and to register, visit

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